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Kimora Lee Simmons’ Kids Are All Grown Up, Here’s Where They Are Now

The sisters have positioned themselves to be business women and fearless future leaders of an entire empire.

Celebrity News

Very few early 2000's fashion labels have survived the test of time while simultaneously crafting the culture. There's Rocawear, which, I mean, who didn't wear Rocawear? There's FUBU, who came through with the ultimate 'For Us, By Us' empowerment vibes. There's Sean John, which I still see people wearing to this day. And for the ladies, there was Baby Phat.

Woman-owned, woman-curated, and woman-championed.

Listen, say what you want, but Baby Phat was a staple in a male-dominated game and competed at a level that not many could. Baby Phat was simply revolutionary. Revolutionary in the sense where, prior to its arrival, women's streetwear were mostly created as a subsidy of male brands, often ran by...men. Kimora Lee Simmons was simply on another level with how she moved, and for over 20 years, sis has paved a lane of making women of color feel seen and heard; or women in search of a blueprint.

These days, Kimora has opted for a tamer, quieter family life since ending operations in 2011, allowing her famous daughters, Ming and Aoki Lee, to pick up the baton and rep the name. But what are each of Kimora Lee Simmons' kids up to now?

Recently, her and her famous daughters relaunched the Baby Phat brand in a 2019 partnership with Forever 21 (which sold out in 24 hours), complete with enough nostalgic bedazzled shirts and fur-hooded coats to go around. Their newest venture, Baby Phat Beauty (an extension of the brand's relaunch) served as a reintroduction into the fragrance and beauty empire she very much so previously established with products such as Golden Goddess, Seductive Goddess, Fabulosity, and KLS Cosmetics. Oh, and a portion of all proceeds from sales went directly to Stacey Abrams, Fair Fight Initiative, to help end voter suppression--a move very on-brand for Kimora Lee Simmons, and very on-brand for Kimora Lee Simmons' kids.

Additionally, here's a fun update on what these mini moguls have been up to:

Ming Lee Simmons

Ming Lee Simmons/Instagram

Ming Lee Simmons, 20, the oldest of Kimora Lee Simmons' kids, has definitely picked up her mother's pair of Christian Louboutin stilettos. Aside from the hilarious trolling that her sister Aoki throws her way, you can often find her flexing her nearly identical maternal looks for the 'gram to her 1.1 million followers. She often posts her collabs with varying brands, demanding justice for social issues, posts throwbacks of her mom and/or dad, Russell Simmons, and flaunting her top-notch smize game. And despite her age, Ming's resume runs deep as she's ventured into modeling, with brands such as Lexus, and of course, Baby Phat.

The more docile of the bunch, Ming, has decided to carry the torch of fashion designer and trend-setter, something that her mom had her hand in since she could barely walk the runway. In her last interview with Teen Vogue, Ming says:

"When we were children, the world that my mom brought us into, it wasn't a choice. We did a lot of things that not a lot of other kids were doing. I would be like, 'I can't go to this school thing because I have to go with my mom to a photo shoot.'"

(Kimora was notorious for including her daughters in her productions, whether ending a fashion show, or releasing new campaigns).

Ming is currently attending NYU, majoring in fashion and business and also considering law school to further develop her business brilliance. And alongside her sister, she sits at the head of the Baby Phat conference room table as a lead designer, jotting her ideas, adding her personal flair, and having no problem proving how incredibly prepared she is to take the family name to the next level.

"Every step and every new piece brings me back to the conclusion that this is what I want to be doing," she says.

Aoki Lee Simmons

Aoki Lee Simmons/Instagram

Aoki Lee Simmons, 18, is less into the designing aspect of Baby Phat, and more into the business operatives. She manages the budget and financials, in addition to providing her design input and balancing her economic major at Harvard University—where she was accepted at age 16—and attends with the likes of other young black and brown starlets such as Malia Obama and Yara Shahidi. She often playfully gathers Ming by the neck for the entire world to see in comedic banter of little sister teases, and like her mother and sister, Aoki also models for the brand, showing off her paternal beauty for the 'gram to her 640K followers.

Her bio reads "Mr. Vice President, I'm speaking", (a nod to Vice President-elect, Kamala Harris), where similarly, she has proven that she literally give zero f*cks about getting you together, as she recently sparked attention after she called out a classmate who called her, and other classmates, the N-word, which as you can imagine, didn't go over so well for him.

At Harvard, Aoki ran for undergraduate council, which makes sense being that she often makes completely sensible demands in politics, and holds future Presidential aspirations. #Simmons2040 Additionally, she served as a panelist of 2019's Revolt Summit, perfectly divulging her generation's perspective on hot topics. From book recommendations, to references historical characters and following quantam physics and tech news hashtags, Aoki is pretty clear that she is one of a kind.

And much like our readers, she is big on identifying, and practicing, affirmative self-care habits. She tells Vogue:

"A huge part of self-care for me is reading. I just organized my personal library. I've been collecting books my whole life, so I've had a comfort thing over novels already. I've been doing some ballet. I love to journal as well."

Needless to say, the sisters aren't just living on the ranks of their very famous family. They have positioned themselves to be business women and fearless future leaders of an entire empire as well.

Wolfe, Kenzo, & Gary

As for the fellas of Kimora Lee Simmons' kids, they are growing and flourishing alongside their sisters. Still too young to determine any future endeavors, they're growing every day and experiencing life through their family's loving lens.

Kenzo Lee Honsou, 11 (with Djimon Hounsou), Gary Leissner, 10 (with Tim Leissner), and Wolfe Lee Leissner, 5 (with Tim Leissner), all of which are on the path of being groomed to join the empire as well. In speaking about them all, Kimora says:

"The most fulfilling thing in my life is to be a parent and a mother…That's what I was made to do, I'm very good at it; that's what I do. It's my thing."

Aoki shared a beautiful family photo of each of Kimora Lee Simmons' kids earlier this year, with more photos on them often shared on each of their Instagram accounts.

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We're enjoying seeing this family grow into their own, especially being that some of us have literally watched Ming and Aoki grow up before our very eyes. So for now, the ladies are holding down their mom's vision as they continue to expand the family brand.

And we cannot wait to see what brilliance they have up their newly revived, colorfully bedazzled sleeves.

Feature image by Ovidiu Hrubaru / Shutterstock.com

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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