Kimora Lee Simmons has spent most of her life in the fashion industry, going from model to mogul after being handpicked by Karl Lagerfeld himself to rip the Chanel runway at only 13 years old.
Since then, she’s added more slashes to her name—model, muse, designer, entrepreneur.
Now, Kimora wants to help other young hopefuls to follow in her fabulous footsteps. Last week, she announced that she would be donating $1 million to establish a scholarship fund for students at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, and Rush Teens to do just that.
“I want to help open doors to a community and an industry that is sorely lacking in access,” she told GlobalGrind. “I want young people to be able to pursue their goals of a career in fashion. Not just design! Merchandising, distribution, PR, entrepreneurialism – all facets of fashion.”
Throughout Kimora’s whirlwind of a career, the one thing she didn’t receive was a college education. Fortunately for her, it was her go-getting spirit that helped her become queen of all things fabulousness.
“A lot of this gift is wish-fulfillment on my part. I always wanted to go to a college or university and earn a degree. My path took me elsewhere and I was fortunate enough to still be able to find my way into the industry as a model and then designer and creative director.”
While the scholarship fund mainly benefits students seeking an education in fashion, Kimora urges the importance of education overall.
“Any kind of education is crucial in America today. It sets the foundation for you to pursue whatever goals or dreams you have. There are so many paths to success, but the smartest investment anyone can make in themselves is an education or formal training in a field or discipline.”
Kimora shares the same sentiments toward her children as well.
“I share the same hopes for Ming Lee and Aoki Lee and Kenzo Lee that their fathers do: I want them to get an education, pursue their passions and hopefully grow up to raise money for people in communities worldwide that need help. I want them to continue our family tradition of philanthropy and charitable giving.”
Will they keep the business of fashion in the family? We’ll just have to wait and see.
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