NEW YORK — The other shoe has dropped at Phat Fashions — and it's a stiletto.
Kimora Lee Simmons was promoted to creative director of the brand Friday just one day after her husband Russell exited the Kellwood Co.-owned company. In the new post, Kimora Simmons will be responsible for the creative oversight of all Phat Fashions' labels for the women's, men's and children's categories. Her creative directorship includes overseeing product development, marketing and advertising to ensure consistency among the various brands. The former runway model will continue to report to Bernt Ullmann, president of Phat Fashions.
This is a major step up for Simmons, whose primary responsibilities to date have been president and creative director of Baby Phat. She takes on some of the duties previously handled by her husband, who resigned from the company on Thursday to focus on his other business interests. While not divorced, the couple is separated, but the two are said to be on friendly terms.
In a statement, Robert C. Skinner Jr., Kellwood's chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, "Kimora's ability to create the Baby Phat brand universe from a simple T-shirt on the runway over 10 years ago and turn it into a multimillion- dollar global business today — is truly an amazing feat in today's mercurial fashion world."
In that same statement, Simmons said, "This is a natural extension for me. Our consumer — man, woman or child — wants to be immersed in the aspirational Phat lifestyle and it's my role to assure them that every product they touch is authentic to the Phat philosophy and creative vision."
Phat Fashions offers women's, men's and children's sportswear, accessories, footwear and loungewear, as well as home. The company's labels include Baby Phat, Baby Phat Girlz, Phat Farm, Phat Farm Boys and XV. Phat Fashions has 30 domestic and eight international licensees stretching over 38 product categories. There are also 13 freestanding stores.
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