Kimora Lee Simmons is a former fashion model and ex-CEO of the company Baby Phat. Though she is currently president of the company JustFab, she is probably best known as being rap mogul Russell Simmons’ ex-wife. She has also appeared on the reality show “Life in the Fab Lane” and “House of Fab.”
Kimora Lee Simmons described herself on Twitter as “Model, Mogul, Mom 2 MingLee, AokiLee+KenzoLee, Wifey, Designer, Perfumista, Philanthropist, Women’s Rights Advocate, Award Winning Producer, TV Host, Author”.
She is a mix of African-American, Korean and Japanese ancestry. She said growing up as an only child in St. Louis she was bullied for her height and mixed ancestry; they called her “Chinky giraffe.” When Kimora was eleven, her mom enrolled her into modeling classes to help with her self-esteem. “Those hard times made me everything I am today. It’s all water under the bridge now.” Fast forward two years later and Kimora was “discovered” as a model and sent to Paris. At the age of 13 she had an exclusive contract modeling for Coco Chanel.
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Aside from modeling, Kimora Lee Simmons has appeared as a judge on “America’s Next Top Model” and in the film “Beauty Shop,” among other projects. She also wrote a self-help book that was published in 2006. She said regarding her phrase fabulosity, “It’s not about how skinny you are or how much money or how many diamonds you have – that’s the fluff that people sometimes look at as being the main thing. It’s about understanding that the things that make you fabulous are all inside of you.”
She met her future husband, Russell Simmons, when she was 17 and he was 35. She married him when she was 23. They were married several years before their divorce was finalized in 2009.
Kimora Lee Simmons has three children: two from her relationship with Russell Simmons, and one from her relationship with actor Djimon Hounsou. It’s been reported that she secretly married investment banker Tim Leissner. As for her exes, she said, “It’s not always easy [to be on friendly terms], but I try to do everything from the viewpoint of what’s best for my kids.”
When asked if she thought her kids would be too isolated and not aware of others’ hardships, she said, “All three of my kids have activists for fathers…they are well aware of economic injustice and their role in working to reverse it.”
Kimora Lee Simmons currently resides in Beverly Hills, California.