Exclusive: Queen Kimora Is BACK, Y'all!
The wait is over!
Come Sunday nights, there's nothing I like more than chillaxing on the couch with a big ol' nectarine and taking in some serious "Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane." I just LOVE a girl with nerve. (The good kind.) Not only does Kimora Lee Simmons run a big-ass business, her love for her husband and kids is evident in everything she does. With her new season premiere happening tonight, Kimora shared how she balances her life as a wife (to actor Djimon Hounsou) and mogul with mommyhood to daughters Ming and Aoki and baby boy Kenzo.
momlogic: Congrats on the birth of your son! How's managing a trilogy treating you so far?
Kimora Lee Simmons: Exactly! That's a good way to put it. At first I thought, "What's one more?" But he's a boy, the girls are bigger and no one's sharing any toys or clothes. It's a little extra-stressful to have a new baby come in.
ml: Has he started showing his boyness yet? Have you found him to be different?
KLS: The girls are very girly. Even girl babies ... you can distract them with a doll, and they'll just sit there and play. But with a boy, he always wants to go, and he's very unafraid -- he'll just leap off of your lap! He's got a very strong, fearless personality.
ml: It's a very different energy.
ml: My kids are three years apart, and I know I felt like a wishbone sometimes. Their needs are so different. Do you feel this way also?
KLS: The older ones are dealing with school, homework and issues with classmates. I just got used to the fact that my girls don't want to call it a "playdate" anymore! They say, "No, Ma! We want to hang out. We don't say 'playdate' anymore." But we all get along so well. Because they are a little older, they're kind of like young moms, or mommy's helpers. They want to pay attention to their baby brother. They can help feed their brother a bottle or change his diaper. They're very, very supportive. There's a lot of happiness in the house right now. Also, being a working mom, I think moms everywhere can identify with juggling all of the complexities of their lives. I feel like I have 5,500 jobs!
ml: You do! I feel like I do, and you have one more kid than me. And I read in OK! that you're going for a fourth!
KLS: We're practicing every day! I don't know if it will happen right away, but one day soon-ish ... not in a month, but soon like in a year. If it happens, it happens. I'm very comfortable with the working-mom thing. That, I have down. So it doesn't matter if I have one or more kids. I have that part of my life down and can juggle things and multitask. I'm used to it.
ml: What's your secret?
KLS: I feel like I just do what's in front of me at any given moment. Don't worry so much about the future that you can't focus on what you're doing. Do what's in front of you and knock it out of the way. Don't have a lot of tension and stress about it. Obviously, you have to multitask. I have a great team. I feel like you should have a great support system ... your coworkers, your friends, your family, a great babysitter. Maybe your mom can come over and help out for a little bit. You need a great support system in your community. And you need to take time for yourself, whether it's a bubble bath or a candlelit dinner. It'll have a big impact.
ml: I love watching how you interact with your staff and your kids, because you can see how much you love your family and how much you love your staff -- but you make no apologies for being the boss, which I feel is empowering. One quote I love is, "Are y'all going to tell me? Or am I going to tell y'all?!" You're comfortable with being in charge, and I love that! Do you feel that sometimes your worlds cross over a little bit, like you're maternal with your staff when maybe you shouldn't be?
KLS: I'm very maternal with my staff. Everybody that's with me now has been with me for a long time, and the people who might not be with me anymore because they did something wrong wish they were with me. A lot of my staff have been with me since they were in college or interning. I feel like we have such a great relationship and I have a lot of advice. I've been through a lot of things, whether in fashion or family or relationships. I'm on my second marriage, and a lot of these kids are headed that way. I have a lot of respect for them and for their talent, and it's just great being able to work with people like that. I am very nurturing and I kind of think that's OK. A lot of times when you see things on the show, they cut things so you might get that funny look or that drama, but they are definitely my family. The kids have grown up with them, too, so we're all very, very close.
ml: Do you find yourself running your house like a business?
KLS: I'm very OCD. I probably run my entire life like a business anyway, with charts and the schedules. I have three kids, so I want to know what's going on. I want to write everything down so I don't miss anything. I write down every food Kenzo puts in his mouth, and how much. I'm going to show him that when he's 18 years old and talks back. I'm going to be like, "Excuse me? I wrote down your first pear!" And with the girls, I hang little schedules on the doors. That's another tip: Write everything down on a calendar and post it in the kitchen, so everyone knows what's expected and where they're supposed to be. It's very important to document things.
ml: What's your greatest hope for Ming, Aoki and Kenzo? Do you want them to carry on your fashion legacy?
KLS: My greatest hope for my kids is that I nurture them enough to be independent and have their own sense of self-expression. I don't really push them in any direction, but at the same time I feel like there are so many opportunities open to them, and I'd like them to embrace everything. So far, they're very much into the performing arts. They love the theater, museums and they also love the fashion. If they're putting on a play, they want to make all the clothes. They have dress forms in their rooms, and they're very advanced in that respect because they've come to work with me for so long. They really make things! They make pillows and sell them for charity -- they really just have a great sense about themselves. I kind of see the arts is where they're headed. They're very practical thinkers, so maybe Aoki will be a performer and Mingie will be a lawyer or a business manager. I try not to put too much pressure on them. I want them to take the reins within safe life boundaries. But within that, I want them to be able to feel like they can make their own decisions, choices and suggestions about their own well-being. Communication is really key in my house. We talk about everything. I have my girls fill out questionnaires, which I think every mother should do. They tell me things I don't know about them, and when I look back over them, I can see how things have changed.
ml: I know a lot of moms will totally relate to the segments on your show concerning a universal theme: weight and body image. Do you have any secrets or tips to share about losing baby weight?
KLS: I'm not so neurotic about it. I'm definitely one to preach that, in my design, my fashion, my mantra. I'm one of the curvier girls, and I feel like you should feel comfortable in your own skin. I think you should take your time. It's all about being healthy. You can't eat the cheeseburger and the chips every day, because it's not healthy and it will make you fat. Eat lean meats or fish and vegetables or fruits. I think you should be healthy so you can have energy and lead an active lifestyle. I feel like by chasing a baby, the weight will come off naturally. Walk as much as you can, and push the stroller. When you go grocery shopping, park the car a little further and take a few extra steps across the parking lot. It's a lifestyle change. I'm not the Hollywood mom that says you have to be a size 2 by tomorrow. I don't think what you see in the magazines is what you should strive to be like, because all those images are heavily retouched. It's more about your mental, emotional and spiritual stability. If you make healthy life choices, you'll look great. You should be comfortable at any size or any age. Whatever you have, you should be proud of yourself, because it's not easy to be a mom!
Need more Kimora? Don't miss the premiere of "Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane," tonight at 9/8C on Style!