Twenty-one years after its initial inception, Kimora Lee Simmons Leissner has announced the relaunch of the popular women's clothing brand Baby Phat.
The announcement came on International Women's Day (Mar. 8), as Leissner stated that she purchased the brand back for an undisclosed amount from an unnamed company.
"We had to hunt around for it," she told WWD. "[...] It's perfect timing for this. Over the past several years, we realized the brand resonates with people and lives deep in their souls."
Baby Phat was founded in 1998 as a subsidiary of the Phat Farm Fashions company owned by Leissner's then-husband, Russell Simmons. The brand quickly expanded beyond clothing with a line of fragrances and accessories, helping it bank more than $1 billion at the height of its success.
In 2004, Russell Simmons sold it to Kellwood Company for $140 million while Leissner stayed on as president. However, she parted ways with the company in 2010.
"It's over. It's absolutely over. It was very abrupt and sudden. I was shocked," she told the Daily News in 2010. "It's very, very sad for me. It was totally unexpected."
Baby Phat is scheduled to relaunch this spring and just like its original release, the brand will be a family affair as Leissner's daughters Ming Lee Simmons and Aoki Lee Simmons will work alongside her. The first collection will produce "mainstream sportswear" pieces for millennials and Gen. X with a mix of retro and modern pieces.
"It's very important that you have women on both sides: women as the end user, women as the creator," she told Bloomberg TV. "We need to take more of that responsibility and own it."
Ming Lee Simmons shared her excitement for the relaunch via Instagram, writing, "Baby Phat has always been a brand for women. We have always celebrated every shape, every size, every race, every background; every woman. In 2019, we're bringing it back for ALL of us... Because we're worth celebrating."