Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Why Boycott Baby Phat?

(This is gonna take a minute. Background first. Can't just randomly call for a boycott without first explaining. Come on, now. Fix a spot of tea and get cozy.)

Several weeks ago, Kimora Lee Simmons, who I dilligently follow on Twitter, started sending tweets that sounded suspiciously as though she might be leaving Baby Phat/Phat Fashions. As far as any of her supporters knew, there was no reason for this, so most probably didn't even realize what was happening before their very eyes.

I don't send her a lot of correspondence throughout the day as some of her young supporters tend to do. But, if she sends a tweet, almost invariably, I'm gonna retweet it. It's my small way of showing my support for her efforts. So, when she started sending those tweets, dripping with hints that something major was about to happen, I carefully watched and waited to see what was going to transpire. On one occasion, she even sent a tweet that said something like, "I'd never leave voluntarily" or "by choice" or something to that extent. This really aggravated me because it sounded as if she was under duress. Still, I watched and waited, fully aware that something was up, and hoping for the best that it would be to her and Russell's advantage. Then, it happened.

On a Friday night (August 20th), late, she responded to a tweet from a supporter who expressed that she (or maybe it was a he, I can't remember for sure) was shocked that Kimora was leaving Baby Phat, with "I know. So sad." The news went around the world in 80 seconds and the speculation was rampant. I was shocked. Kimora was mostly vague in her responses, except to tell her supporters that she was moving on to a new chapter, she appreciated the support and she hoped that we'd all be along for the next chapter in her life. My every instinct was that this was not what she wanted. So, again I watched and waited, and called and emailed Kellwood, current owner of Phat Fashions, myself to see if I could get some answers. Each time they stated that they were not going to be making an official statement "at this time". I wondered, "Then when dammit?!"

In the days following, rumors and more speculation continued. Then, one allegation in particular started popping up everywhere and it was all I could do to keep from losing my damn mind. The New York Post reported:

"But another Baby Phat insider it could have been a way to slash costs: "Kimora was going over-budget. She'd pay herself a fee to be in the ads, plus she paid her children fees to appear in ads. It costs thousands of dollars to airbrush her because she's a size 10."

I was pissed. First of all, what the hell would be so horrible about her girls being paid to be in those ads? She and Russell didn't own Phat Fashions anymore. Why the hell should their children work for free?! But, seeing as how the New York Post isn't exactly distributing Pulitzer Prize winning material (translation: credible) on a yearly basis, I thought maybe it was just more rumor and speculation. Because, if this was true, this meant that Kellwood was forcing Kimora, a six foot tall mother of three, with a still relatively fresh from the womb (Okay, he's several months old, but he isn't in kindergarten dammit. He's still a baby. Only 16 months old I believe.) little one in tow, out of a company that she built from the ground up. A company that she obviously loves and adores. A company that she obviously was not ready to leave behind....because they thought she was too fat.

So, as I watched and waited, Kimora continued to send tweets related to her departure and eventually, she began to address the allegations about her weight. In an episode that absolutely broke my heart, she sent a string of tweets that encouraged women of all shapes and sizes to embrace their beauty both on the inside and on the outside and to be themselves and pondered when it became a crime to be a size 10. I was livid because she shouldn't have even had to address something so personal.

I hoped against hope that Kellwood would immediately release a statement saying the allegations were baseless, they'd never do something so ridiculous as show Kimora the door for this reason and just set the record straight. You know, maybe they just decided to go in a new direction. That would have still stung, but it would have been a bit more palatable than rumors floating out here that they'd let Kimora go in great part due to her weight. To date, Kellwood has only responded with this:


Got it? Not a damn thing. They haven't said a thing. No official statement, not a tweet, not even a status update on Facebook. Just...nothing. So, what are we to think? Kimora had originally announced that her last day at Phat Fashions would be September 1st, but days before, she announced on Twitter that her last day was "effective immediately". How could that translate into "oh, something good must have happened"? It can't! The drama was obviously still underway and Kellwood was still silent.

To that end, Kellwood's absolutely disrespectful treatment of buyers of all things related to Phat Fashions is deplorable and they do not deserve any further support. Kellwood's absolutely disrespectul treatment of Kimora Lee Simmons, the one who built Baby Phat into what it is today, is deplorable and they do not deserve any further support. Kellwood's absolutely dis-re-spectful message to the women of this country, that a six foot tall mother of three is too fat at a size ten is deplorable and they do not deserve any further support. The average woman in this country is 5'4" tall and wears a size 14 dress. One third of all American women wear a size 16. Absolutely, health has to be taken into account. Always. But, last I checked, Kellwood Corporation is not the headquarters of the Surgeon General's office. They are a retailer. Focus on retail you bastards. And, if you are so concerned about what size this woman and that one is, we can help make sure that the women of this country know exactly how you feel about it when they go to make decisions about what to buy at their local department stores. That won't be a problem at all.

So, in sum, DO NOT BUY THEIR SHIT! Nothing. But, it's important that we start with Baby Phat so that they can feel the real impact of their dismissal of Kimora. The only thing any true Kimora Lee Simmons should be purchasing are products from her KLS Collection, Kouture by Kimora or any of her fragrances, which can be found at most department or fragrance stores. The fragrances will mostly still have a Baby Phat logo on them but they are fine to purchase. I'm hoping that soon Kimora and her team will be able to rebrand all of those items so that she can fully make them her own and not allow Kellwood to piggyback off of her efforts.

I apologize for making this post so long, but I had to give all of the background in order to go forward with this call to action. I promise the rest will be short and sweet and I will do my best to limit the cursing, but this all makes me extremely angry. I don't know Kimora any further than our interactions on Twitter and in my following her work in both fashion and philanthropic circles and she seems to be nothing but some of the best that God sent down to this globe. Nobody's perfect. Hell, I'm not. But, she's a hell of a lot better than some of the other trash walking amongst us.

Kellwood, the song below is all for you. Strap in because you are going to have some decisions to make soon where Baby Phat is concerned. No respect? No dollars. --Sugar


  1. what the hell? they got rid of Kimora because of her weight or did I misunderstand the whole post?

  2. sorry, I just found this blog when I was googling for any of Kimora's ads.

  3. You read it right. Crazy, huh? Spread the word. They didn't make a single announcement that she was no longer going to be leading the brand and I know they are the ones who leaked that nonsense about her being too expensive to airbrush. Ridiculous.

  4. Just to let you know we appreciate you posted on and we are Tweeting it to our ever growing followers to get the word out.