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Baby Phat: The Epitome of Y2K

In the 2000s, fashion was all about the bigger and the better. From bedazzled low-rise jeans to Uggs and the signature mini skirt, the style of the 2000s was in a class of its own. However, one of the most well-known and successful fashion brands of the Y2K was without a doubt the powerhouse, Baby Phat. Founded by Kimora Lee Simmons, Baby Phat was worn by everyone from Aaliyah to Alicia Keys. With its signature bedazzled cat on each shirt, pair of pants, and tracksuit, Baby Phat led the way for so many Black female-run fashion companies and became a household name in fashion for the Black community. 

Founded in 1999, Kimora Lee Simmons created Baby Phat as a streetwear fashion brand meant exclusively for women. Combining femininity with power, the brand was meant to celebrate women in the fashion industry who had long been marginalized, mainly minority women, while also allowing them to enjoy looking good in the process. Baby Phat, known for the signature cat logo, has run the fashion industry for decades and created a name for itself in the Black and brown communities unlike any other brand. 

Now, there is a well-known saying that trends return every 20 years or so, and this statement couldn’t be any truer. Today, in 2021, Gen Z has written a love letter to the 2000s by bringing back the velour tracksuit oversized jeans, and airbrushed t-shirts. Given the recent resurgence of 2000’s fashion, it makes all the sense as to why Baby Phat is making its comeback like never before. With the help and creative aid of Kimora Lee Simmons’ daughters, Ming Lee and Aoki, Baby Phat is jumping into the 2020s by rolling out new designs combining the new with the old. With cut-out dresses and the bedazzled cat logo, Baby Phat is reinventing itself to be the new, cool girl on the block in the 2020’s streetwear reign on fashion.

Baby Phat is more than just a fashion brand, it is a lifestyle. The concept of luxury for Black women is consistently associated with the brand and rightfully so. For so long, some fashion brands didn’t advertise towards us, didn’t cast us in their fashion shows, or even allowed us in their stores. With Baby Phat, Kimora Lee Simmons helped open the door for Black and brown women in fashion. Even though it was created in 1999, the brand, style, and meaning behind Baby Phat have shown that it is a pillar in fashion and a force to be reckoned with.

Simone Nixon is a junior biology major, chemistry minor from Maryland. She enjoys telling the stories of the world around her and hearing the stories of others. She plans to pursue a career in the healthcare field, while also pursuing her interests in writing and lifestyle.
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