KIMORA LEE SIMMONS Biography - Craftmen, artisans and people from other Occupations


Biography » craftmen artisans and people from other occupations » kimora lee simmons


Name: Kimora Lee Simmons                                                                     
Born: May 4, 1975                                                                           
Kimora Lee Simmons (born Kimora Lee Perkins on May 4, 1975 in St. Louis,                     
Missouri) is model, author, the head of design for Baby Phat, KLS and an                     
occasional actress. Simmons is half African-American, one quarter Korean, and               
one quarter Japanese.                                                                       
Simmons is of Korean and African American descent. Her mother is Korean                     
American/Japanese American Joanne Perkins (who was adopted by an American                   
serviceman during the Korean War and renamed Joanne Perkins), who now goes by               
the Japanese name "Kyoko", which she asserts was her "full blooded Japanese                 
mother's name. Her father is African-American Vernon Whitlock Jr., who                       
previously worked as a federal marshal, a social security administrator, and                 
then a barber in St. Louis. He served three years for drug charges while Simmons             
was in grade school.                                                                         
Growing up in the north St. Louis suburb of Florissant, Simmons was very self-conscious     
about being a "geek." Other children called her "chinky giraffe" because of her             
height and Asian ancestry. By the time she was 10 years old, she was 5-foot 8-inches         
tall, and became the target of schoolyard taunts and teasing. With no Asian                 
population in her community, she had difficulty fitting in with the mostly black             
student body who shunned her because of her Asian ancestry. Hoping to boost her             
confidence, Simmons' mother enrolled her daughter in a modeling class when she               
was eleven years old. Two years later, at the age of thirteen, Simmons was                   
awarded an exclusive modeling contract with Chanel and just after her fourteenth             
birthday, she left for Paris to work under the tutelage of famed Chanel designer             
Karl Lagerfeld.                                                                             
She quickly gained attention in the fashion world when Lagerfeld closed his                 
haute couture show with Simmons, who strutted down the runway decked out as a               
child bride. "Everything people thought was weird about me before," Simmons told             
People Weekly, "was now good". By age 14, her stature had grown to a height of               
six feet, and she became a self-professed muse for Lagerfeld. She and three                 
other Lagerfeld models (Bernadette Jurkowski, Shoshanna Fitzgerald and Olga                 
Sobolewska) were dubbed "the four Karlettes".                                               
Simmons is a graduate of Lutheran North High School in St. Louis, Missouri.                 
She has appeared in Ginuwine's video for "In Those Jeans" with model Devon Aoki             
and Usher's video for "Nice & Slow". Kimora Lee is also a playable character in             
the Playstation 2 video game "Def Jam Fight for NY".                                         
It is Simmons' goal to fashion Baby Phat, launched in 1999, into an "aspirational           
lifestyle brand."                                                                           
She was one of the judges in America's Next Top Model for season one. Simmons               
has also been a co-host Sony Television's syndicated talk show Life & Style.                 
Kimora's book Fabulosity: What It Is and How to Get It was published by                     
HarperEntertainment in February 2006. The book is set to function as a 'lifestyle           
manual' on everything from spirituality and finances to fashion and beauty.                 
She established the Kimora Lee Simmons Scholarship Fund at her high school alma             
mater in St. Louis to provide college tuition support for academically                       
successful girls with financial needs and is an active member of youth advocacy             
organizations including Amfar, The G&P Foundation, Keep a Child Alive, Hetrick-Martin       
Institute and Rush Philanthropic where she is on the Board of Directors.                     
In February 2007 Kimora Lee Simmons Barbie doll was launched, created under the             
direction of Simmons. She has also launched two perfumes for women: Goddess                 
and Golden Goddess.                                                                         
On August 5, 2007 her reality TV show premiered on Style Network. Kimora: Life               
in the Fab Lane chronicles her daily life and routine, along with her                       
relationship with her two daughters Ming Lee and Aoki Lee Simmons. It now re-airs           
on E! Entertainment Television. Season two will air beginning in January 2008.