Even Kimora Lee Simmons is toning it down, not flaunting the money

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You know times are tight when someone like Kimora Lee Simmons is toning down her bling-encrusted fashion line. Simmons is the founder of Baby Phat, whose entire empire is built about the image of a glamorous lifestyle. Now walking around New York, I see a lot of Baby Phat being worn by people that I can guarantee you do not live anything that vaguely resembles Kimora’s lifestyle. And she must recognize that, because Baby Phat – normally a highlight of fashion week – is going comparatively low-key this year, with Simmons noting that it’s, “not the time to be running all over and flaunting the money that we don’t have.”

For years, the Baby Phat show that ends New York fashion week has been the raucous capper to eight days of runway shows–cocktails flow freely, the front row is filled with celebrities and about 1,600 guests cram into venues like the Roseland Ballroom just to get a glimpse of Kimora Lee Simmons’s latest creations. This season, however, the party is over for Baby Phat.

Ms. Simmons has cut her guest list in half in order to show at a smaller venue, Gotham Hall, and has also decided not to host her usual massive after-party. “Now’s not the time to be running all over and flaunting the money that we don’t have,” Ms. Simmons says. “Now’s not the time to have all these people come to the show who are coming because they’re your best friends — the people who need to be there are the buyers who need to see the clothes, the editors.”

Ms. Simmons’s comments reflect the new, more sober attitude designers have adopted for fashion week, which officially begins Friday. Designers like Marc Jacobs and Proenza Schouler have cut back their guest lists this year and others such as Vera Wang and Monique Lhuillier have opted to do low-key presentations instead of big runway shows.

In Ms. Simmons’s case, she also moved the Baby Phat show to a Tuesday timeslot in order to reach out to international buyers, who typically left New York before her Friday show took place. And while she’s planning to have a small cocktail toast after her show, “it’s going to be small, intimate” she says, describing it as a quick “have a drink, thank you, I salute you, but OK, now we have to go home” affair.

[From the Wall Street Journal]

I generally find Baby Phat clothing to be incredibly unattractive and obnoxious – at least when I see it worn by real people on the subway. I’m not sure how most of it is considered flattering or attractive, but clearly people love it because I see it anywhere. But Kimora is obviously a smart businesswoman and knows how to make herself appealing to her demographic. When people were into the fabulous lifestyle, that’s what she gave them. But right now that seems so far away and unattainable to people, so toning her show down can only help her.

Here’s Kimora Lee Simmons and Djimon Hounsou on February 9th in New York. Images thanks to WENN.

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18 Responses to “Even Kimora Lee Simmons is toning it down, not flaunting the money”

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  1. Rreedy says:

    Kimora grew up poor: I applaud her sensitivity to others during this time. She is a smart business woman and companies such as hers have also taken sharp hits this year.

  2. Ana says:

    Anytime I see this woman, all I can do is stare at her neck. Now she is not a fat woman by anymeans, but her neck seems to hold a large amount of it. Kind of like my upper arms… .:sigh:.

  3. TinaWithPom says:

    Curvaceous, statuesque body… but alas… Michelin Man neck.

  4. Ron says:

    Fur trimmed shoes are always such an understated, of the people look.

  5. HEB says:

    There’s tons of Baby Phat stuff at TJ Maxx and Marshalls…which is actually not a bad idea–its easier for everyone to buy and thus everyone and their mother is wearing a black puffy coat with a furry hood and gold baby phat cat on the back…

  6. Justalark says:

    Does anyone else think that Kimora Lee Simmons looks like a younger, thinner Aretha Franklin? Give her a few more years and she’ll be wearing big, over-the-top hats to go with her fur-trimmed shoes…

  7. clare says:

    Yes, we, the people, want these phatcats to “not flaunt the money we don’t have.” Is that what she’s saying? :)

  8. Diva says:

    I WANT to like BabyPhat, cos the kitty is pretty, lol, but it all feels SO cheap. I own two pieces (a shirt and a pair of shoes) and I worry any time I wear them that they’re going to start unravelling. How much more toned down can she get with her line?

  9. kiki says:

    baby phat is shitty cheap clothes and the pussy logo on it is what its is Pussy wear. Kimora also designs scrubs which are actually not bad they are fitted for women wear’er thou they do sport that awful pussy logo

  10. holy moly yes to the neck! says:

    It’s not like she has double chins or anything, or that she doesn’t have an amazing body, or she’s not gorgeous….but…. I know! Everytime I see her on tv im transfixed. Her neck has SECTIONS. Odd.

  11. abbizmal says:

    Those shoes are hideous, but she sure has one hot man. I’d hit him.

  12. snappyfish says:

    ugh. don’t like this girl. The neck is weird, like its own area code. Doesn’t seem to fit the rest, she probably has a thryoid condition.

    And I really like Djmion Hunston.

  13. mel says:

    If you are not into urban wear than her clothing line will not appeal to you. Her line appeals mostly to younger teens to mid 20 yr olds.

  14. BS! says:

    I think she’s “toning it down” because she never really had it in the first place and now she doesn’t have to pretend/try as hard. Her show is ridonkulous. I watched the one where she tries to “go green”. She absolutely refused to list the number of cars she has. And why? Because no matter the number, big or small (though I suspect small), she’s afraid that someone out there has already one-upped her, and the less she reveals, the less we can scrutinize. Makes sense if you think about it. If you want people to think you “got it”, its best to keep things vague so they never really know one way or another.

  15. kate says:

    i hate this selfish, ignorant woman with the fire of a thousand suns. she is so hideous i don’t even know where to start – and she is having a baby with a total hottie! i ask you – how is that fair? hmph.

  16. vdantev says:

    How about disappearing from the public landscape altogether ?

  17. Mary says:

    Kimora is lovely, she is an amazing mother, she could give Angelina some pointers on how to style black hair. She has a long neck that gives her a double line nothing that makes her ugly.. I love her show, see the house she has on the show is for sale on realstalker..