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LOS ANGELES — Fashion mogul Kimora Lee Simmons is ramping up her life in the fab lane by taking the helm of online fashion retailer JustFab.com. The Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based company, a division Intelligent Beauty, revealed Simmons’ appointment as president and creative director, a post created for her from the outset of the company’s launch in March 2010.
This story first appeared in the September 15, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“I can’t even remember my official first day in the office, but I feel like this has been months in the making,” said Simmons as she walked through the light-filled studio space toward her corner office filled with brightly colored shoes and bags. “We [she and Intelligent Beauty co-founders Adam Goldenberg and Don Ressler] have been talking about this for a very long time.”
Simmons, who continues to star in the Style Network reality series “Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane” and serves as style editor of the network, is also an investor in JustFab.com, which operates on a members-only business model that allows customers to purchase its in-house brand of shoes, bags, sunglasses and denim for $39.95 an item with free shipping. Pieces are curated for each member by a team of fashion consultants, headed by celebrity stylist Jessica Paster, based on a style personality quiz taken as part of the registration process. Items are also merchandised with clothing and accessories from other brands that users can click to buy. The newest brand expansion is costume jewelry, which will launch in October, and Simmons also has big plans for growing the business. “I see it growing into a lifestyle brand that reflects my whole world, from work to home to kids,” she said.
“We knew from the beginning that we wanted to have a fashion icon, not just a celebrity face, as our president and creative director, and we always had Kimora in mind because she brings her experience as a model, designer and personality to the table,” said Ressler. “The fact that she has her own followers enhances our model of creating a trusted and interactive relationship with customers.” The site currently has 2.5 million U.S. members and is gaining 300,000 to 400,000 new members a month. Ressler said the company is generating sales of $3 million per month since and estimates it will sell 1.5 million to 2 million shoes and bags in 2012. The company hopes to go international in the next 12 months.
Simmons’ personal Twitter account boasts nearly one million followers worldwide. She even used Twitter to reveal her departure from Kellwood Co.’s Phat Fashions, where she was president and creative director, in August 2010.
“My fans know that I’m real and that they can reach me anytime. I want the JustFab community to know that too. That’s really me giving fashion tips, talking to them in the ads, answering their questions, wearing the product,” said Simmons of the seemingly endless stream of newly produced content that will make its debut on the site this month. “But that’s what I love about this new world of social commerce. It’s constantly changing and you have to keep up.”
Intelligent Beauty’s three e-commerce brands have combined annual revenues of $250 million.