Noughties nostalgia: Kimora Lee-Simmons is re-launching Baby Phat

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The noughties are back in a big way when it comes to fashion – with key 00s it-items like the Fendi Baguette bag and the Dior Saddle Bag at the top of many Vestaire Collective wish lists, and motif collaborations from the likes of Playboy appearing on big name accessible digital brands like Missguided. 

One brand which defined the decade with their low slung jeans, chain belts and R'n'b influences was Baby Phat, worn by 00s icons like Lil Kim, Paris Hilton, Alicia Keyes and Cam’ron. 

In 2006, while on a family trip to New York, I purchased my own piece from the era-defining brand – a navy halterneck crop top with the signature Baby Phat cat motif adorning the front in yellow-toned diamantes. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The brand, created by Kimora Lee Simmons in 1999, was an homage to 00s sass – rhinestones adorned the surface of most pieces, jeans were cut so low that public bones were seeing the light of day, and the now iconic fur trimmed, cropped parka jackets, which carried the same cat silhouette logo across the back.

The runway shows were explosions of attitude, with models stomping the runways in mere flitters of silk dresses, satin bikinis teamed with fur coats,  diamond grills, and bright pink co-ords, often with miniature teacup dog breeds at their sides. 

However, the brand was bought up in 2010, and Kimora was no longer at the reigns. The brand faded into the archives of 00s fashion, along with our Playboy pencil cases and Von Dutch caps, and my Baby Phat halter top was consigned to a thrift store (cursing myself for that now) but now, it's making a resurgence.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Kimora is back in charge of the brand, and it will be launching it's first contemporary collection this year.

'It’s the rebirth of my baby,' she told PEOPLE Magazine. 

'Here we are again, 20 years later in 2019, and now [my daughters] are with me taking the reigns,' she said. 

'This is a woman-owned company, run by me and my daughters. I’ve been in fashion for 30 years. But now it’s about passing the torch from one to the next.'

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The brand will be keeping it's original flair, while creating brand new designs. 

'It’s going to be an ode to the past but then they will pick it up where we left off,' she said.

Speaking of her daughter's input – Ming, who is 19, and Aoki, who is 16, would often walk the runway with their mother when she took her designer's bow – she said:

'They are involved in every aspect of the business'

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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'Ming studies business and fashion in college in New York, and Aoki is in Los Angeles and will be in college next year.'

'They’re very much innovators and influencers. We’re like the Three Musketeers.'

'It’s all going to be still cool, still sexy and still fun.'

The brand is due to re-launch this summer on babyphat.com, but if you can't wait until then you can still nab Baby Phat originals online and on Depop. 

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