Those of us with a perverse interest in awful women are inclined to agree that Kimora Lee Simmons is worth her weight in diamonds as an object of appalled fascination. Pound for pound, KLS is more trashy and bizarre than Donatella Versace — a huge achievement! – and greedier than Imelda Marcos. Now that her husband has finally had enough of her, we can look forward to her swift fall from the social ladder, such as it was. In the meantime, let’s just enjoy her for being the definitive Piece of Work for the Bling Zeitgeist (or, PWBZ for short.)
Kimora Lee was a “model” when Russell Simmons first set his eyes on her. Presumably, he had one of his posse go out and procure her for him, like an Adidas jacket. Soon they were married, and he gave her a line of fashion to “run”, called Baby Phat. Baby Phat is designed for the young African American woman, and features a stupid Siamese cat type thing as its logo. The jeans run very small and look like they’d fall apart after one washing. There are shoes and outerwear too, all reeking of third world sweatshops and inferior materials. Her first really noteworthy product was a pink rhinestone covered cell-phone that sold for $600.
Somehow, KLS became a member of fashion royalty, not only in the hip-hop world but even in the pages of Vogue magazine. Remember when Vogue did a long piece on Puff Daddy’s trip to France, where he said of the Versailles: “That’s some awe inspiring shit.” Well, these are nearly the exact words I said to myself upon seeing a photo spread about the Simmons manse, where Kimora requires her stable of housemaids to wear demeaning old-fashioned maid outfits with aprons and little hats. There, KLS prances around in tight mini-skirts and dresses her tiny children in British school uniforms, for a badly needed touch of “class.” She also collects Hermes handbags, and a peek at her closet suggests that she has acquired around 400 of them.
The best thing about Kimora Lee Simmons is that although she travels constantly, and has several nannies, she maintains that her children are her Entire Life. It is good to hear, but somehow the handbags and fur coats beg to differ. To gaze upon the smooth, strangely undefined features of Kimora’s face, to admire her toned and perfect legs, to see her piles of ridiculous couture gowns and her jewels worthy of an Egyptian queen, is to behold the power of rap music, the outer limits of ego, and the overwhelming luck of a bird-brained hottie who was at the right place at the right time. As she ages like a worn-out Manolo, I hope she remains in the public eye, to entertain and instruct much like the ruins of the Colosseum, which might leave even Puff Daddy speechless with humility.