Kimora Lee Simmons is responding to reports that her husband Tim Leissner financed her fashion company. As previously reported, the former super designer turned designer’s line is reportedly at the center of a corruption probe. [Click here for the backstory]. Kimora explains about her history in the fashion industry:
I’ve been around for quite some time. I’m an old lady so I’ve always been self-sustaining, self-funded. I’ve had Baby Phat and at one point Phat Farm, too. I’ve had Couture by Kimora, Fabulosity, KLS so this is not my first ride at the rodeo. I’ve had six or seven successful fragrances. I fund my own business.…I’ve been in the fashion industry since [age] 12, modeling and all that. So all my money, not that I want to say it that way, this is my third marriage that I’m on so, no, my husband has nothing to do with my professional life.
As for whether she consults with her husband about business, Simmons said,
He’s a financial person and I’m a fashion person, so I wouldn’t say that really. And I’ve been doing this for kind of a long time. Probably more my young girls [14 and 17] give me a little more fashion advice.
Responding directly to the current story about her involvement in her husband’s investigation, she says:
I think it does a disservice to the fashion business and to designers like me. I’m one of the few designers who is here with their namesake label. I’m one of the few women and certainly one of the few women of color. Diversity is a big conversation for me that I talk about.
When you say something to attack a brand…it doesn’t do a service to myself or the industry to have — for those who are following in my footsteps, or for the groundwork that I have laid for other people like myself of which there are only a small handful. So we struggle every day and we have our struggles every day, but I think it’s better to probably keep to the topic of your growth and your success than to go and create lies or false stories about brands like that. It’s one thing to be successful, it’s another thing to be failing, it’s another thing for someone to write and publish things that you’re failing. That’s really no good. I was just shocked at that but it happens all the time. I guess I’m honored that they still want to talk about me.
Kimora, whose American-made collection is sold at Bloomingdale’s and Lord & Taylor, admits that she considers herself a trailblazer,
I’m always speaking about women’s empowerment, putting your best foot forward. I’ve been married and also divorced. I’ve been a single mom. I really considered myself to be one of the trailblazers. I’m an entrepreneur, a businesswoman, I have investments. I’m working and trying very hard every day so I think it is bad, yes, for an old whoever guy to try to discredit all of that. I think it does a disservice to fashion or women of color, yeah absolutely. I’m not saying that it was necessarily racially motivated but one could look at it that way, absolutely.