Born: May 4, 1975
Birthplace: St. Louis, MO
Zodiac Sign: Taurus
Kimora Lee Leissner (née Perkins, formerly Simmons), known professionally as Kimora Lee Simmons, is an American fashion model and fashion designer who took over Baby Phat after Russell Simmons and was CEO/creative director through 2010. She had her own reality television shows Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane (2007–2011) and Kimora: House of Fab (2013).
Just after her fourteenth birthday, Perkins was awarded an exclusive modeling contract with Chanel and went to work under the tutelage of Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld. She quickly gained attention in the fashion world when she closed Lagerfeld's haute couture show in 1989. "Everything people thought was weird about me before", Perkins told People Weekly, "was now good". Perkins soon walked for designers including Fendi, Valentino, Emanuel Ungaro and Yves Saint Laurent. Perkins has been featured on the cover of the German, Indonesian, Singaporean and Malaysian editions of Harper's Bazaar.
In 2004, Leissner' then husband Russell Simmons sold his clothing line Phat Farm to Kellwood Company for $140 million. When Russell stepped down as CEO of Phat Fashions LLC in September 2007, Leissner—who was already creative director of Baby Phat (which was a branch off Phat Farm Industries)—was promoted by Kellwood to president and creative director of Phat Fashions. It was her goal to turn fashion label Baby Phat, launched in 1999, into an "aspirational lifestyle brand". Her high-end sportswear line, KLS, launched in fall 2007.
On September 1, 2010, Leissner parted ways with Baby Phat and its management company, Kellwood. The details as to why Leissner was removed as creative director have not been clear; some blog sites claimed it was because Leissner was spending too much money on company pursuits and giving too much pay to herself and her children. After the split, Leissner planned to launch her KLS collection and Kouture by Kimora Brands. She had an exclusive brand coming to Macy's that would offer stylish clothes for under $40. On September 14, 2011, Leissner announced on her website that she was the new creative director and president of JustFab, a personalized shopping website. She ended her employment with JustFab in May 2015.
In June 2015, Leissner relaunched her KLS label as a high end line, opening its first boutique in Beverly Hills. In 2016, the line began being carried at Bloomingdale's in the Aventura Mall.
Leissner has appeared in small roles in television and films including Beauty Shop, Brown Sugar, and Waist Deep. She has also appeared in music videos for Ginuwine, Usher and Rich Gang in the 2013 song "Tapout". In 2003, Leissner appeared as one of the judges on America's Next Top Model, Cycle 1. She was scheduled to return but later chose not to. She has been a co-host of Sony Television's syndicated talk show Life & Style. On August 5, 2007, season one of her reality TV show, Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane, premiered on Style Network. The show chronicles her daily life and routine as a mother and then-CEO of Phat Fashions.
Leissner wrote a self-help book, Fabulosity: What It Is and How to Get It, that was published by HarperEntertainment in February 2006. The book is set to function as a 'lifestyle manual' on everything from spirituality and finances to fashion and beauty. She has also launched five perfumes for women: Goddess, Golden Goddess, Seductive Goddess, Baby Phat Fabulosity, Love me, and the last fragrance she put out from her time with Baby Phat, Dare Me.
Leissner sponsored the KLS Rushcard, which included her own line of purple Rushcards.
Leissner established the Kimora Lee Simmons Scholarship Fund at her high school alma mater in St. Louis to provide college tuition support for academically successful girls with financial needs and is an active member of youth advocacy organizations including Amfar, The G&P Foundation, Keep a Child Alive, Hetrick-Martin Institute and Rush Philanthropic where she is on the board of directors. The mayor of St. Louis presented Leissner the key to the city and named March 18, 2008 "Kimora Day" in St. Louis. Source.