The West

Be fabulous not notorious: Kimora
Be fabulous not notorious: Kimora

She's the feisty, foul-mouthed former model who used to be married to Russell Simmons but Kimora Lee Simmons wants everyone to know that you don't need to be scandalous to make it in showbiz.

"Culturally we are drawn to lots of crazy things and I don't want kids to do crazy things to get themselves famous," she said over the phone last week from her Sydney hotel while on a whirlwind publicity trip down under.

"I don't want kids to think you have to be wild and crazy in a bad way to make it, because you don't have to do that.

"My whole concept of fabulosity is that everyone is fabulous, not just because you're a model or not or because of how much money you have or not."

In 2004, Simmons was arrested and charged with reckless driving, eluding police, driving with a broken brake light, and marijuana possession after a police chase near her estate in New Jersey.

"People can say whatever they want but I've had a job since I was very, very young," she said.

"I'm a real person and I want people to know that I've been in fashion since I was little, 10 years old locally, and I was discovered by Karl Lagerfeld, when I was 13 years old for Chanel and that's what's shaped the person I am.

"I've always had a job and a great job in an industry that I love. It's very important to me as a mother of young children, especially young girls who are very impressionable, to let people know that you don't have to be scandalous in order to be famous or to be a celebrity. I want people to know that you can have fun as well and being talented and great entertainers and people."

Simmons' first show Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane debuted in 2007 in the US and followed her life juggling being a mother to her three children Ming, Aoki and Kenzo with her career in fashion. Now, she has shifted the focus to her business, JustFab in her new show Kimora: House of Fab which started last week on Foxtel.

The series gives viewers a glimpse into the high-tech world of a fashion dot-com and the fiercely chic employees who make it all come together, under the watchful eye of president and creative director Simmons.

"People are always interested in the process behind something and getting a real look at how it's done and how something is made or created so I love getting to show that side of my business," Simmons explains.

"There are some very big differences between this and Life in the Fab Lane"

"People say to me 'Oh where's the kids?' I like showing both aspects, I think that probably not showing as much of me personally is something people will miss."

But fans of the kids needn't worry. Simmons - whose first husband hip-hop entrepreneur Russell split with Perth-raised actress Melissa George this time last year - says they will appear in the show to some degree.

"It's going to be sprinkled throughout because they have their own lives and they're growing up.

"They love fashion as well and they love TV, they grew up with it but it's fine for them to have their own time too. I'm always juggling work and time with the kids. The other night I was hosting the red carpet for E! for the Oscars and then I was home to put my kids to bed and then I was on a plane to Australia."

Kimora: House of Fab airs on Monday at 5.30pm on Style.

The West Australian

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