Sometimes it seems like life must be paradise 24/7 for a fashion mogul-mom such as Kimora Lee Simmons, and the fact that she called omg! long distance from sunny Bora Bora in French Polynesia, where she and her family -- partner Djimon Hounsou, and kids Ming Lee and Aoki Lee Simmons, and Kenzo Lee Hounsou -- are currently vacationing only reinforced our theory!
With her signature chuckle, Kimora is quick to point out that though her life may seem glamorous and fabulous on the outside, she's just as human as the rest of us when it comes to her top priorities in life -- family, fashion, and business. "Life can be crazy, hectic, and over the top," says Kimora, adding, "You can have Birkin bags coming out your ass, Rolls-Royces down the street, but at the end of the day, you have to go home, and you're not in that purse, you're not in that car, you're with your family, and that's the most important thing."
Kimora's brood has been spending a lot of time hanging out poolside, and it appears the star's 20-month-old son Kenzo is the life of the party. "He is definitely a flirt," shares Simmons. "He saw someone getting out of the pool the other day in her bikini, and he was like, 'Boobies! Boobies!' and then he went over and jumped on her! She was like, 'Oh, he's so cute. He said boobies because he knows what fed him.' And I was like, 'Ah, my son is not hungry.' I don't know what kind of guy my son is going to grow up to be, but right now he likes boobies and belly buttons, and everyone thinks that's so cute. He's definitely a character."
Continues Simmons, "The girls are embarrassed by him, they're like, 'Mom, get the baby off her!' and then Djimon has to go over and get him. Then the lady sees Djimon, and is like 'Oh my God!' So it's always something. We're like National Lampoon's Vacation."
2010 was a year of great change for Kimora. In August, she parted ways with fashion brand Baby Phat after 14 years in a split that was less than amicable. When her departure was first announced, Kimora was completely floored. These days, she's philosophical about the split. "Yes, I did have some moments in 2010 that were dark moments for me, sad moments for me," admits the brand's former CEO. "I really did not know which way I was going to go next, what I was inspired to do, and now I feel like I'm turning over a new leaf. I feel like I have the freedom to create and cater to my audience so much better than I ever could before. I may have had some sad moments, and I'm not going to lie -- there were a lot of tears, but it's like the sun that shines after the storm. I feel like I can do anything now. I'm moving on, and I'm happy."
Though she's now put Baby Phat behind her, and is focusing on her many other fashion and beauty brands, which include KLS and Kouture By Kimora, the modern mogul still can't resist taking the occasional veiled jab at her former colleagues. Regaling me with a story of swimming with sharks in Bora Bora the day before, Kimora laughs, "It was terrifying, but better than some of the sharks I've swum with in my life!"
Simmons' Style Network reality show "Life in the Fab Lane" kicks off this week, and the former model promises that the fourth season is going to be the best one yet. Among the highlights is Aoki Lee's catwalk-themed eighth birthday party, which was held with the Make a Wish foundation to benefit sick kids whose wish was to model in a fashion show. "We had such a big fun celebration, and it took the day beyond just Aoki," says Simmons with emotion, adding, "It really taught my kids that it's not always about you. You still can have fun in life, and think about other people. And by helping other people, you get so much more, because if it wasn't for Make a Wish, we wouldn't have had a big crazy party like that."
For Kimora, the new year is all about looking forward. "I felt like my life had gone upside down, and now it's right side up again. For 2011, my motto is onward and upward. It's a restart, a reboot, which I think so many people can relate to in these hard times. I think if I can make it through, anyone can make it through, and I'm having a great time."
Season 4 of "Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane" premieres on the Style Network Sunday January 9 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.