Saturday, August 20, 2011

Baby Phat’s Year on Life Support

“The only certain freedom’s in departure.” –Robert Frost

One year ago, on Friday, August 20th, Kimora Lee Simmons responded to questions, via Twitter, about the status of her position as Creative Director at Phat Fashions. She announced that her relationship with Phat Fashions, at that very moment, was over. It was so casual and abrupt all at once that the way it was handled still shocks me--even as I find myself experiencing something so similar it’s a little unsettling. Unsettling because it’s a stark reminder that it can happen to any woman of color, in any industry, at any time.

As I write this, I realize that I’m as exhausted as I’ve been in weeks and I wonder, why do Black women have to catch so much hell? That will be the theme for this weekend…this anniversary weekend…of Kimora’s departure from Phat Fashions, i.e., the devil’s lair. I know that Kimora is half-Asian. I know that. But, it is that other half…her blackness and her…woman-ness that were most likely the reason for the majority of the crap that led to the unraveling of one of the most iconic brands the fashion world has ever known. And, I absolutely do not intend to imply that it was simply Kimora’s race and gender that caused this. For certain, it was a combination of things tossed at her, and Baby Phat customers, by some racist, sexist scum. I hope that I’ve done a fair job of discussing many of those over the past several months. This weekend, we’ll take a little trip down memory lane and make sure that there isn’t something that we’ve missed, and let these MFers know that we will continue to boycott that tainted brand.

But, back to this one year “anniversary” before now I lay me down to sleep and pray the Lord my soul to keep! I remember that night (that Kimora confirmed the split) almost like it was yesterday. Well, maybe not yesterday, but I remember it pretty well. I was pissed! Nothing seemed to add up, and Kimora’s tone in those tweets said it all, she was not happy about the split and that infuriated me so much, words can scarcely describe.

Now, one year later, the brand is just laying there, flat, on life support, trying one desperate measure after another to restore things to their former glory. It’s pathetic and this weekend, I think it only makes sense that we remind the world about the travesty of what Kellwood Company did to Kimora, Baby Phat customers and the fashion industry itself. I have some other items that I’d like to point out this weekend and I have some questions that I’m hoping one of the Kellwood snoops might be capable of answering for me. Let’s see if we can’t get a little closer to pulling the plug on this bitch. --Sugar

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