Kimora Lee Simmons is a fashion mogul, actress, and mother. Born in St. Louis, Missouri on May 4th of 1975 to an African-American father and Japanese mother, Simmons is a prime example of turning your “flaws” into something great.
Being of mixed decent, she has used her platform to openly talk about being proud of your uniqueness and allowing it to help you grow. She said in an interview with Working Mother,
“Even though I felt a bit like a freak in school, my unusual looks were just right somewhere else—in the world of modeling. To a camera or a catwalk, my height and exotic looks were assets instead of liabilities.”
At the age of 11 Simmons’ mother began enrolling her in model classes and after only a few years, at the age of 14 she was awarded a modeling contract with the late and great Karl Lagerfeld. After closing one of his haute couture shows, Kimora quickly became a model sensation throughout the industry.
Her career from just a fashion model to a fashion designer quickly came after her marriage in 1998 to Russell Simmons which she had met at the age of 17 while he was 35. Her then husband had been working on baby apparel for his Phat Farm clothing line, when Kimora took over the project herself thus Baby Phat being born in 1999.
Soon after the launch of her line, Simmons became a mother in 2000 to Ming-Lee Simmons and a few years later again in 2002 to Aoki-Lee Simmons. Since her and Russell’s divorce in 2009, Kimora has also given birth to sons Kenzo Lee in 2012 and Wolf Lee in 2014.
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Simmons prides herself on being a working mother and balancing that life-style. In the same interview with Working Mother she talked about the lessons her mother taught her about being a single and working mother.
“You can’t be lazy, you can take things into your own hands, and fear can propel you. She also made it clear that working moms need to prioritize. You can’t worry about all the things on your list. You do what’s in front of you, and step-by-step, you get it all done… I involve my kids in my work, so they can see that even though the balancing act isn’t easy, it’s possible.”
Along with using her platform to advocate self-confidence and being a working mother, she also talks a lot about women empowerment. During an appearance with her and her two daughters at Galore’s Girl Cult Festival, Simmons said,
“I used to think [female empowerment] was about just making your own money, but it goes beyond that. It’s about what you want to invest your time and passion and energy into.”
Kimora Lee Simmons is a true girl boss in every since. She is confident, determined, and knows what she wants. She is an influential woman.