It ’ s a drawn-out sentence that seems to run the length of the ramp Kimora Lee Simmons Leissner rolled down as she emerged from the improvised hair-and-makeup room to head down to the skate rink at World On Wheels in Los Angeles. Her daughters, Ming Lee and Aoki Lee, are already there, the three ready for a Baby Phat photograph photograph as the brand readies for a major boot, beginning with Thursday ’ s launch of a Forever 21 summer capsule .
“ World On Wheels has an old school, nostalgic feel. It ’ mho stream and fun and trendy and that ’ s what this is : Baby Phat 2.0, Baby Phat reloaded, ” Simmons Leissner said. “ It ’ s myself and Ming [ Lee Simmons ] and Aoki [ Lee Simmons ]. They ’ re not babies anymore or behind the scenes. They ’ ra front-and-center and they ’ rhenium helping with designs a well as the business. ”
Simmons Leissner — designer, model and entrepreneur — bought back the Baby Phat by Kimora Lee Simmons stigmatize, recognizable for its vomit silhouette logo, in March for an undisclosed total. The motivate represented a return to the pronounce she started in 1999 under then-husband Russell Simmons ’ Phat Fashions, helping carve and solidify a powerful compass point of see and space for women within the male-dominated urban streetwear grocery store .
Ming Lee Simmons in pieces from Baby Phat ’ s Forever 21 collaboration .Courtesy Photo
She re-inserts herself back at the helm of a business as a lot of streetwear continues to reflect and think about female theatrical performance in the quad — what strides have been made and what more there is to do .
“ I ’ m a charwoman in fashion and I have been 25, 30 years, ” Simmons Leissner said. “ I have two girls and two boys adenine well. I think a fortune of the strides that have been made in the past 30 years have been our strides. I ’ m very a lot entrenched in that movement. I ’ thousand constantly fighting for multiethnic brands, businesses and brands run by women in everything that I do. That ’ mho very important and it ’ s never adequate. We ’ ve been kicking the doors for well over 20 years and people have been doing that before me and will continue to do that…I have little girls that are named Kimora, so it ’ mho significant to me if person asks ‘ Where did you get that list ? ’ that they not merely say “ you, ” but what does that stand for ? So it ’ s, yes, that we can be unafraid and brassy and kick the doors open and silent be benignant and sexy and kind, nice people. That ’ s what I want to represent. ”
From a product point of view, this Baby Phat reboot through Forever 21 represents what much of the marketplace remembers of the brand. It will have all of the baby Ts, tank tops, body suits, velour, short shorts and half tops set against more mod, achromatic colorways. Distribution will be through Forever 21 ’ sulfur on-line workshop and its 236 stores domestically with all stock-keeping units priced under $ 25 .
Behind the scenes of the Baby Phat shoot for its Forever 21 summer space capsule .
The mind is the brand will be nostalgic appeal for the Gen X customer who was there when Baby Phat first base launched, or for the young girl who recognizes the brand through her mother .
“ Fashion repeats itself. It regenerates, ” Simmons Leissner said. “ Whatever is old is modern. Whatever ’ mho been done is being done in a new, fresh way and so I felt like Baby Phat fills a invalidate for thus many. It ’ s not super expensive. It ’ sulfur low-cost. I feel like a draw of what ’ s being done immediately is something we ’ ve been there, done that. ”
Baby Phat for Forever 21 is so far another notch in the retailer ’ s belt of collaborations. constantly 21 has been on a tear more recently, inking deals for collections with Cheetos, Speedo, Pepsi and a capsule paying court to singer Selena Quintanilla–Pérez, even as more late reports peg the party to talks about a possible restructure amid its withdrawal from the chinese grocery store .
For Baby Phat, the Forever 21 collaboration sits in juxtaposition to much of the streetwear that ’ mho become more mainstream or aspirational nowadays with high price points and limit quantities. That ’ s not what Simmons Leissner wants for Baby Phat 2.0 .
“ I think it ’ mho authoritative to have a short bit of something for everyone then that ’ s why it was playfulness to do the collaboration with Forever 21, ” she said. “ We besides have our Baby Phat by Kimora Lee Simmons [ label ] and we have a little act more high-end pieces. I wouldn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate cry it luxury like some people have actually high price, luxury streetwear. Ours is correct at the middle or identical low-cost. ”
The business will continue to gain steam with the Baby Phat on-line shop into the summer as more collaborations roll out, she said. Simmons Leissner besides hinted at an international plunge and said companies have already begun reaching out on the smasher and aroma side — categories the mark had seen success in previously, with some seven fragrances at one point .
On fixed : Kimora Lee Simmons Leissner at the shoot for Baby Phat ’ s Forever 21 summer capsule .
“ It ’ s in truth exciting, ” she said. “ It takes up a batch of my time and focus, but it ’ second fun. ”
It besides continues to be a syndicate matter with Ming Lee, 19 and studying at New York University, and Aoki Lee, age 16 and recently admitted to Harvard University, working on the clientele .
With Ming Lee in New York, she ’ sulfur in the Baby Phat office several times weekly. Aoki Lee works on designs and besides has taken an interest more on the business side, about from the position of a adviser, Simmons Leissner said .
“ From numbers and finance, to running the clientele and all the fashion and creativity, we do every single thing together, ” Simmons Leissner said. “ It ’ s constantly been that direction. The girls have been with me and the world knows that. They ’ ve seen them grow up since they were born. ”
Aoki Lee Simmons in Baby Phat as the line reboots and bows with a Forever 21 summer capsule .