Her name rings through the halls of fashion greats all over the world and reverberates against the jagged sidewalks of name-your-city, USA. Like many other icons of our time, she operates on a first-name basis and her business savvy has catapulted her beyond what others in her field have been able to achieve. On television, she’s a glamorous, fearless, fierce business woman and mother. But when the cameras are gone, the world will learn, as I did, that Kimora’s life parallels many of our own. The K.I.M. (Keep It Moving) method has proven that forward movement for Kimora has been her key to success and the unstoppable pursuit to do what hasn’t been done is what makes Kimora, Kimora.
In 2010, the media world was abuzz with news of Kimora leaving Baby Phat and while many speculated on the reason, the process of the transition was much more than a business transaction.
“Leaving Baby Phat, as it may have seemed, was a business matter – it happens everyday in business. However, for me, it was more than that. It was about closing a chapter in my life, moving on, and evolving. It was about the new possibilities and believing in myself to use what I had learned to achieve more.”
Fashion immediately consumed Kimora’s life when she was discovered at the young age of 10 years old and set the foundation for pure, unadulterated hard work. “I’ve never done anything risqué or outlandish to propel me to this place. It was simply hard work and understanding my passions. You see my love for fashion in everything I do: my television show, my books, my beauty brands, everything. When a woman can find her true passion, she can create and recreate herself and her life any way she wants.”
Overcoming hurdles and obstacles reminds us of the parallels in Kimora’s life to our very own, parallels that may not be so apparent on the TV screen or in magazines. “This was something I was going to do in spite of myself – when people told me ‘you cannot have this, you cannot be a woman of color in fashion, or a woman this young as an executive’, I did it anyway. We all have to find that passion and overcome ourselves to achieve our goals.”
Many women find themselves in a place where they’re not sure of what move to make next. I can certainly relate – after years of struggling, trying to find my own place in the world, I finally figured out what made me happy, what gave me the will to press forward. Kimora knows the same feeling. “You know you’re in the right place when you can feel it,” she explains. Finding your purpose is about growth, change and intentionally seeking positively charged environments. Women have a sixth sense about these things. When you’re on the right path, you just know.”
But a change towards a new path can cause fear to rear its pesky little head: sweaty palms and tear-filled internal battles seem to wage inside of you. But fear, as Kimora suggests, can be a good thing. “We all live with some element of fear – but when you embrace it, you find that fear no longer becomes something you run away from, but something you run towards. It’s beyond the fear that you find your heart’s passion. It’s beyond the fear that life really begins.”
Dress for Success has helped propel thousands of women towards new lives and, as our inaugural Dress for Success Power Woman, Kimora exudes what the organization is all about: empowering women. “In everything I do, I want to show the power of a woman – and I want to do it in a way that is contrary to what society says is ‘empowering’. I met a woman at a Dress for Success affiliate that stood in front of me and showed me [drug] tracks in her arms. She told me it had been three months since she last did drugs. Do you know how empowering that was for her? Moments like that remind me that while our stories may all be different, they all have the power to change lives. I’ve learned so much from their stories; it uplifts me so much.”
Kimora has carved out her own path in the fab lane and has experienced one success after the next: a model, a mogul, a mother, executive producer, best selling author of Fabulosity: What It Is and How to Get It, president and creative director of JustFab.com, and founder of Shinto Clinical, a skincare line whose name means “of the Gods.” Kimora’s power extends beyond the boardrooms and cat walks. Kimora understands the ebbs and flows of womanhood, and in that, she is a piece of our lives that make us proud to know her.
“When you begin to think of yourself as one and as a whole, you understand the global impact we can all have. You are a unit of a bigger picture – I find pride in seeing women overcome things. To be able to stand in front of someone and say, ‘this is who I used to be’, shows the brilliance and balance of being a woman.”
Follow Kimora on Twitter at @OfficialKimora and visit her site www.KLS.com
Kimora’s K.I.M. (Keep it Moving!)
When life tries to stop you, you have to learn to keep it moving! Here are some tips from Kimora on how to propel yourself forward!
1. Reinvent yourself, as many times as necessary. Never become complacent!
2. Believe in yourself: you were built for this!
3. Set goals, plan them out, and execute. You have to work hard!
-Alisha L. Gordon is a Masters of Divinity student at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. She is the author of Pieces: Finding the Missing Piece is Easier than You Think, an avid writer, teacher, public speaker and social media maven who has an affection for faith and culture. Follow Alisha on Twitter @AlishaLGordon.