For a moment in time, it was hard to go anywhere without seeing Kimora Lee Simmons’ Baby Phat logo all over the world.
Now, Simmons is bringing back her iconic brand in a major way. She announced on Friday her re-acquisition of the brand, which she stepped away from in 2010. According to The Glow Up by The Root, the label was acquired by Kellwood company in 2004. Simmons left Baby Phat to accept a new role as president of JustFab and has also gone on to develop her own high-end line, KLS.
Baby Phat launched in 1998 as a more feminine spinoff to her then-husband Russell’s Phat Farm brand. According to E! News, the line was adorned by celebrities like Rihanna, Carrie Underwood and Chrissy Teigen. Simmons announced plans for the relaunch during the UN Women and Gender Innovation Coalition For Change (GICC) and said the new Baby Phat will uphold the same mission as the early 2000s fashion phenomenon. She also mentioned that the brand will be “woman-owned, woman-led, and as always, designed by and for women.”
Simmons’ daughters Ming Lee, 19 and Aoki Lee, 16, will also be involved in the new venture, though their official titles haven’t been disclosed. Ming Lee did, however, take to her Instagram account to announce the launch with her 987,000 followers.
“Celebrating #internationalwomensday with a very special announcement! Baby Phat has always been a brand for women,” Ming Lee said. “We have always celebrated every shape, every size, every race, every background; every woman. In 2019, we’re bringing it back for ALL of us… Because we’re worth celebrating. @BabyPhat.”
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• @wwd Kimora Lee Simmons Leissner has some inspiring news on this International Women’s Day — she has bought her company back. The designer, entrepreneur and former model has personally purchased Baby Phat and plans to relaunch the label later this year. In its heyday in the early Aughts, Baby Phat was one of Phat Fashions’ most profitable brands with a wide variety of product categories and sales in excess of $1 billion. It was worn by major celebrities and hosted elaborate fashion shows. As for the relaunch, she tells WWD: “We’re working fast and furiously and have a lot up our sleeves.” Report: @jeanpalmieri . . #wwdnews #kimoraleesimmons #babyphat #internationalwomensday
The original Baby Phat also had a lingerie and clothing line. While Simmons hasn’t confirmed exactly what pieces she will include in the new line, The Glow Up reports that fashion lovers can expect a “new buzz” from Baby Phat with an undisclosed collaboration in the summer. The signature collection is set to debut in Fall 2019.
At its height, Baby Phat brought the Simmons brand Phat Fashion an estimated $1 billion. The relaunch comes at a time where streetwear fashion has gone more mainstream, with brands like Supreme and A Bathing Ape finding success among young shoppers, Bloomberg reports. Simmons spoke to Bloomberg TV regarding her decision to buy back her brand from Kellwood and why its presence is paramount for a new generation of young women.
“It’s very important that you have women on both sides — women as the end user, women as the creator,” she said. “We need to take more of that responsibility and own it.”