The 18-year-old Harvard student made a grand entrance in the high-fashion world, walking in the Pyer Moss' Paris Couture Week show

By Kaitlyn Frey
July 12, 2021 12:44 PM
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Aoki Lee Simmons walks the runway during the Pyer Moss Couture Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2021/2022 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on July 10, 2021 in Irvington
Credit: Cindy Ord/WireImage

Kimora Lee Simmons' daughter Aoki Lee Simmons is following in her mom's modeling footsteps!

Kimora and Russell Simmons' daughter, the 18-year-old Harvard student, made her runway debut at Paris Couture Week at Pyer Moss' fashion show. The event marked the first time a Black-owned brand, led by designer Kirby Jean-Raymond, showed a collection during Paris Couture Week.

The collection celebrated Black culture with each look centered around a different Black-invented household item. According to Vogue, each invention was pulled from a list from the Library of Congress. Aoki modeled an eye-catching brown-checkered pantsuit adorned with various colored chess pieces, designed as an homage to the game.

After the show, Aoki shared some photos of her look and praised the "Black magic we have been blessed to receive from the mind" of designer Jean-Raymond.

Aoki Lee Simmons walks the runway during the Pyer Moss Couture Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2021/2022 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on July 10, 2021 in Irvington
Credit: Cindy Ord/WireImage

"Thank you for so much for including me, trusting me to do your genius justice, and giving me my first haute couture runway experience that I will never forget. The people I worked with and met during this journey are all the definition of passion and professionalism. I'm forever grateful, still crying a little. ♟🖤✨🤍," Aoki wrote on Instagram.

The teen's mom, model and fashion designer Kimora, couldn't contain her excitement and gushed about her daughter's first major modeling gig on Instagram.

Aoki Lee Simmons walks the runway during the Pyer Moss Couture Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2021/2022 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on July 10, 2021 in Irvington
Credit: Cindy Ord/WireImage

"Congrats to my baby @aokileesimmons! At 18 She's doing her 1st Paris Couture show today! @pyermoss (Notwithstanding the countless runways she's been on since birth!) break a leg baby girl! We are all so proud of you for pursuing your dreams so boldly! Do your THING!" Kimora said.

She continued: "AND YESS, of course mama's crying!!😩 Cheers!💕💋❤️🎉🏆 (and when you get off the runway, it's back to uni you gooo!)💕💃🏼 #ItsTheDedicationForMe#parisfashionweek."

Aoki's dad Russell also supported her on social media by saying: "aoki continue pursuing your happiness. i got your back."

NYC: Baby Phat - Fall 2004 - Runway
Credit: Matthew Peyton/Getty

While this marks her first major high-fashion modeling moment, Aoki's initial runway appearance came at another impressive age: 18 months. She took the final bow alongside older sister Ming Lee with their mom at the end of her Baby Phat fashion show in 2004, carried on Kimora's hip.

Baby Phat
Ming and Aoki Simmons Baby Phat launch 2019
| Credit: Courtesy Baby Phat

Throughout the rest of her childhood, Aoki and Ming continued to be by their mom's side at every runway show and in 2019, for the relaunch of the brand, they gave their mom a hand by modeling in the line's new fashion ads (above). They also helped their mom introduce Baby Phat Beauty in 2020.

In March 2019, Kimora announced that Aoki was accepted into Harvard University at the age of 16. "Yaaaayyyyy @aokileesimmons!! She's on her way to #Harvard!! We are so proud of YOU!! Such hard work and only 16! You did it! It took years of super dedication and lots of tears! But HERE YOU ARE!!! GO GIRL!!!" Kimora captioned the clip, which shows Aoki flashing a wide smile as she takes in the news.

"Enjoy the journey! We are excited to see the great things you will do! Sorry I'm one of those SUPERLOUD MAMAS! She also got into Dartmouth, Vassar, Barnard etc! Woooo! 😍🎉❤️🙏🏼💃🏻," Kimora added.

Kimora and ex Russell are also parents to daughter Ming Lee, 21. Kimora is also mom to son Kenzo whom she shares with ex Djimon Hounsou and son Wolf Lee whom she shares with and her husband, financier Tim Leissner. In 2020 Kimora and Leissner adopted a 10-year-old son named Gary.