There is a certain generation of women *cough* who remember well the once-ubiquitous presence of the Baby Phat logo, a sinewy, sexy cat that seemed to peer out at us from cropped puffer jackets, velour tracksuits and jean pockets everywhere in the late 1990s to early-aughts.
That cat was rumored to have been modeled after founder and designer Kimora Lee Simmons’ childhood cat, Max. And it seems Simmons—now Kimora Lee Simmons Leissner—will be bringing back a bit of our childhoods (or, in my case, young adulthood) with the relaunch of Baby Phat by Kimora Lee Simmons. The iconic urbanwear is reportedly set to re-enter our collective consciousness later this year.
On International Women’s Day, Simmons Leissner revealed her reacquisition of the label, which was acquired by former parent company Kellwood Company in 2004. (Simmons Leissner left the helm in 2010, following Baby Phat with a role as president at Just Fab and the launch of her own high-end line, KLS.) She made the announcement while giving a keynote address at a gathering for UN Women and the Gender Innovation Coalition for Change (GICC), during the celebration of another important launch: the coalition’s new ‘She Innovates’ principles, designed to help companies achieve gender equality within their workforces.
Launched in 1998 as a spinoff of then-husband Russell Simmons’ menswear brand Phat Farm, the new iteration of Baby Phat will have an even more female-centric spin; Simmons Leissner announced the label will be “woman-owned, woman-led, and as always, designed by and for women,” according to a statement provided to The Glow Up. And keeping it all in the family, teenage daughters Ming Lee and Aoki Lee Simmons will also be on board, in an undisclosed capacity.
Simmons Leissner says we should expect to see new buzz from Baby Phat with an exciting collaboration this summer. A signature collection is set to debut in Fall 2019.
No word on whether cropped puffer jackets will be making a comeback.