Kimora Lee Simmons Tells Us Why Her Life Is So Fab
Filed under: Celeb News & Interviews
In addition to running a successful fashion label, the former runway and fashion model is launching a skincare line this spring and stars in the reality show "Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane."
Simmons also has been married to actor Djimon Hounsou since 2008, and has three children -- daughters Ming, 11, and Aoki, 8, from her first marriage to hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and a son, Kenzo, 1, with Hounsou.
Yet, despite her fame, fortune and endless party invitations, Simmons, 36, tells ParentDish staying in is her idea of a perfect evening.
"Nothing tops being with my family and spending a quiet night at home with them," she says.
On Feb. 18, Simmons plans to head to Alain L. Locke Elementary in New York City, where she will launch Bounty's Make a Clean Difference, an initiative created to supply 1,000 classrooms with cleaning materials.
ParentDish caught up with Simmons to find out how she juggles work, family and charities. An edited version of the conversation follows.
PD: You're starring in the fourth season of the Style Network reality series, "Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane." What makes your life so fab?
KLS: As a matter of fact, I encourage everyone to live their life in the Fab Lane. My fab life is, I am happily married with three great children and I'm also a working mom, who juggles many balls in the air at once.
PD: What won't we see on your show?
KLS: My show is edgy and full of fashion, but it is also full of fun and I hope inspirational, too. I wanted to create a program that families can watch together. You won't see any boobies or any bad language here.
PD: Do your children like being on TV?
KLS: The primary story on this series is my life in business, and then the smaller story lines are about my kids. I will say my kids are hams.
PD: Do your children get along?
KLS: Yes, they get along great. Ming and Aoki love their brother and think I had Kenzo so they could take care of him. They help change diapers, prepare bottles and run to his crib when he cries.
PD: Your daughters are from your first marriage and your son from your second. Was it hard to blend the families together?
KLS: My daughters and son were not what I consider blending families. My family was blended long before Kenzo came along. The transition of going through a divorce five years ago was a big challenge and a painful one. Then, when I met Djimon, I had to blend him in with my girls and that was a challenge that I had to treat delicately and with extra care over the years.
PD: When did you introduce Djimon to your daughters?
KLS: Months after we started dating. Matter of fact, the first time he met them was in a group environment. It was like one big play-date.
PD: Did the girls accept you re-marrying?
KLS: Yes. Our kids are extremely well adjusted and they also spend a lot of time with their dad. As I mentioned, I made a slow transition because their safety, happiness and well-being was important. As for Djimon, they call him Ba-Ba.
PD: Do you and Russell get along?
KLS: Yes, but I had to whip him into shape (laughs).
PD: If you could get a do-over, what would you like a second chance at?
KLS: I have no glaring things that come to mind because I really don't have any regrets. I mean, if I changed one thing, then everything around me would not be the same and I am so happy in my life right now.
PD: What can't you live without?
KLS: Twitter. I am addicted.
PD: You have clothing lines -- the women's line KLS and junior's lines Kouture by Kimora and Fabulosity -- a skin care, jewelry lines, a TV show. How do you have time to be Mom or a wife?
KLS: I actually don't sleep a lot and I am always up around 5 a.m. The mom thing never ends. It always goes. I will always make time for my husband and I just keep going all day. Whether I am shooting my show, working on my new fragrance or taking appointments, I just say to myself I have to get it all done and I do.
ParentDish: So, why did you decide to team up with Bounty?
Kimora Lee Simmons: Everything in my life centers around one thing: my family. I feel I have something in common with everyone out there, and that is wanting the best for our children since they are the future.
PD: What's your role in the cause?
KLS: I am going to encourage more than 25,000 parents and community volunteers across the country to improve the state of more than 2,500 classrooms. Children need a good education, since it is the key to success, and they need clean and safe classrooms to do that.
PD: How do you keep a clean household with three little ones running around?
KLS: (Laughs.) All kinds of wipes -- wet wipes and anti-bacterial are a staple in my home. I have all kinds of wipes since I am chasing three kids.
PD: Do your kids have chores?
KLS: Yes, my kids have chores. They each get a checklist that I put up on their mirror, which tells them what they have to do that day. They have to make their bed, clean their room, brush their teeth, put away their clothes. They help set and clear the table and help with the dishes. I think it is important to teach them about responsibility and the pride that comes along with doing a good job.
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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.