Kimora Lee Simmons Leissner has personally purchased Baby Phat, the popular womenswear brand that she created 20 years ago and will relaunch it later this year.
Speaking to WWD on International Women’s Day, the designer, model, and entrepreneur announced the label’s return but declined to disclose the purchase price or the company from which she purchased it, only saying: “We had to hunt around to find it.”
Leissner launched the women’s streetwear brand as an extension of Phat Farm, the men’s label run by her then-husband Russell Simmons’ Phat Fashions company. She served as its creative director from 2000 to 2010 and later as president.
In the early 2000s, Baby Phat was one of Phat Fashions’ most profitable brands with sales over $1 billion. When Phat Fashions sold to Kellwood Company in 2004, Leissner continued to serve as creative director before parting ways with the brand in 2010.
When Baby Phat relaunches this summer, it will be a “mainstream sportswear” brand aimed at millennials with mid-tier pricing. Leissner will tap into her “amazing personal archive” for the collection, which will feature “retro” elements along with new looks.
Her two teenage daughters, Ming Lee and Aoki Lee Simmons, inspired her to revive the brand. “It’s perfect timing for this,” said Leissner. “Over the past several years, we realized the brand resonates with people and lives deep in their souls.”
A collaboration will also be part of the relaunch, but Leissner is keeping details under wraps. “We’re working fast and furiously and have a lot up our sleeves,” she said.