NYFW: Kimora Lee Simmons Designs for the Movers and Shakers
"You will wear these clothes, they will not wear you," says Simmons of her spring 2016 collection, which features dressier frocks and silk jumpsuits.
Supermodel turned fashion designer Kimora Lee Simmons — whose reality show Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane spawned a slew of copycat shows anchored by outsized fashion personalities — has traded in bedazzled T-shirts for sleek pencil skirts.
The 40-year-old designer, who showed her Kimora Lee Simmons collection (which launched in December 2014) at a presentation in New York on Thursday, says she’s over designing clothes that overshadow a woman’s personality.
"You will wear these clothes, they will not wear you," said Simmons, minutes after sweeping into her showroom with financier hubby Tim Leissner and the couple’s adorable four-month-old baby, Wolfe (who Leissner snuggled to his chest our entire visit). "I’m married, I have a new baby. I have a holding company and a collection. But no matter how I feel or look on any given day, I want to feel smart and empowered."
The collection — which marks the brand’s first foray into wholesaling — is full of dressier frocks and separates in slim, body-con silhouettes. Think silk jumpsuits, leather skinny pants and trim sheath dresses with accents of sheer mesh, architectural insets, and tonal beading.
"I design for a modern woman who’s a mover and a shaker," says Simmons, who wore a cream-hued sheath dress and towering black stilettos. "Right now that’s me — I’m finishing renovating a new apartment near Madison Avenue, and one minute I’m here doing business, and the other part of the day, I’m schlepping around ABC Carpet & Home with my hair on top of my head. People stop me and say, 'Kimora, you look so real.' And I’m like, what do you mean by real? I know what they mean and it's not good!"
Simmons also mused on the ever-evolving relationship between fashion and celebrity: "Nowadays you can be a performer or actress and have developed a line and be taken seriously as a viable brand — like the Olsens with the Row, which is so amazing. It wasn’t like that before, and I think it's great that that's changed. I hate to age myself but I’ve been around for a long time. I guess I could inject my face with fillers and whatever, but I have to face reality! I’m 40. I have four kids, and who knows, I may have another. I may not be done!”
But the designer says her days of sharing her personal ups and downs with the world are officially over: "Nowadays, if you see me on the big screen, it’s about fashion. It’s not about what crazy things my kids are doing anymore."