Kimora Lee Simmons is surely a famous name among lovers of fashion, especially those in the United States of America. Kimora started modeling right from her early years. At age 11, her mum registered her in a modeling class and after a couple of years, she was discovered by Marie-Christine Kollock.
Kimora was eventually sent to Paris and that marked the beginning of a highly successful modeling career.
In addition to fashion and modeling, Kimora Lee Simmons has made her mark in acting. She has appeared in several films including The Big Tease, For Love or Money, Beauty Shop, and Waist Deep. Also, this fashion star has been seen in several TV series and shows like America’s Next Top Model, Kimora: House of Fab, and Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane.
Kimora Lee Simmons Biography
Born as Kimora Lee Perkins in Missouri, USA, on the 4th of May 1975, the supermodel is of American nationality. She was brought up by her mum who saw her potentials as a model and promptly enrolled her in a modeling school at a tender age.
Through the years, the child model eventually became a sensation in the industry and formed a close friendship with Tyra Banks. Kimora Lee Simmons got her basic education from Lutheran High School North in St. Louis, Missouri.
Although she started her modeling career from childhood, her fashion design career took off after her marriage to her first husband Russell Simmons who was already in the process of creating baby clothing from his Phat Farm clothing line. Kimora took over from him and eventually, Baby Phat was born in the year 1999. Kimora became the creative director and president of the brand and eventually took it from just baby T-shirts to a full line of urban women’s wear.
Kimora and Russell made the conscious decision of selling the Baby Phat brand to Kellwood Company for a whopping sum of $140 million and subsequently expanded into jewelry which resulted in the creation of the Diamond Diva line. The business-minded couple signed a deal with Coty Inc which empowered them to create their own line of women’s fragrances under the Kimora Lee Simmons brand and another deal with Vida Shoes International to create a line of women’s shoes.
Her Parents, Husband, and Kids
The fashion icon is of mixed ethnicity, her African-American father Vernon Whitlock Jr was like the proverbial Jack of all trade who held down several jobs as Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigator, a Federal Marshal, bail bondsman and much later, as a barber in St Louis.
When Kimora Lee Simmons was still in her formative years, her dad was given a 24-year sentence for the distribution of narcotics. Although Vernon got his freedom after five years, his marriage was already over. Kimora was raised by her Japanese mum Joanne Perkins.
The fashion icon and model met her first husband, businessman Russell Simmons at the age of 17, at the New York fashion week. An affair commenced which culminated into a wedding at the Caribbean Island of St Bart’s on the 20th day of December 1998. The officiating priest of the day was non-other than Russell’s brother Joseph “Reverend Run Simmons” of Run-DMC who is a popular rapper and also a minister in the Pentecostal church.
The couple’s marriage was blessed with two girls namely Ming Lee Simmons born in 2000 and Aoki Lee Simmons born a couple of years later. Unfortunately, the Russell and Kimora’s marriage crashed in 2008 and their divorce made official in 2009.
Kimora’s next lover is the famed actor and model Djimon Hounsou. Although they never made it to the altar, they had a child (Kenzo Lee Hounsou) together before calling it quits in 2012. Two years later, in 2014, the celebrated model tied the knot with Tim Leissner who worked as an investment banker and the next year, they welcomed a son named Wolfe Lee Leissner.
The beautiful model had some major bucks added to the estimate of her wealth when her company made a whopping sum of $140 million from the sale of her clothing line in January 2004. Kimora Lee Simmons can boast of a jaw-dropping net worth of $50 million which is believed to have been accumulated from her handsome annual income of £9,400,000.