Kimora Lee Simmons is adding Kouture to her design portfolio. It’s not the kind found on the Paris runways, or in the dictionary, for that matter. Not that grammar has ever applied in Kimora’s kingdom, high above Seventh Avenue on the 43rd floor, where the service stops just short of lifting her sedan chair-style when she wants to scoot closer to her interviewer. “No! You can’t lift me!” says Simmons, laughing like a teenager. “I told you about acting like that in front of people! They’re going to think I make you lift me!”
Once she’s perched in her preferred position, Simmons is ready to talk about Kouture by Kimora, her latest junior collection, launched in an exclusive deal with Macy’s earlier this month. “It’s very trendy, it’s very young and it’s very fun,” says Simmons of the line, which is priced from $19.99 to $34.99 at retail.
If that sounds similar to her other ventures — specifically Baby Phat and Fabulosity, the junior collection she does for J.C. Penney, Simmons said the difference is that Kouture is completely trend driven, rather than urban and streetwear related. Key items include rompers, blazers and studded leather jackets. And there’s the Macy’s angle, of course. Phat Farm has been with Macy’s for years, but Kouture is the first line Simmons has developed exclusively for the retailer, a process that was documented on her Style network reality show “Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane.”
“I wanted to do something that spoke to a different market for Macy’s,” says Simmons. “It sits in a different section. I wanted this to be crossover. I wanted this to be colorless and really about fashion. And it’s what I call recession proof. It’s really important to say that. You can get a cocktail dress with a bustier top and satin skirt for 30 bucks. You can get a great jean for $19.99.”
Kouture by Kimora is produced by Kellwood Co., which owns Phat Fashions, of which Lee Simmons is president and creative director. Kouture by Kimora is in 150 doors and online, and will be in 300 doors by July.
In the meantime, Simmons is focusing on “adding to my portfolio and cleaning up my licenses and seeing where to expand my business. I look at my life and my color palette of brand and products and really chose carefully where to place them, like a Kimora Lee Simmons Design Group,” she says, apparently coining a new title for her growing empire on a whim. “That’s a great term for the day.” Asked if it’s actually an official design group, Simmons glances at her team and says, “Yes, that’s my term. There. I said it in the microphone.”
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion