Aoki Lee Simmons: Model, Student, and Daughter of Russell Simmons

Aoki Lee Simmons: Model, Student, and Daughter of Russell Simmons
Aoki Lee Simmons: Model, Student, and Daughter of Russell Simmons

Aoki Lee Simmons may not be popular in Hollywood, but she walks around with one of the industry’s famous last names. Russell Simmons is one of the biggest names in the entertainment world, popularly known for co-founding Def Jam Recordings. Aoki is Russell’s second child and daughter.

Although she made appearances in the reality TV show Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane, Aoki has grown to become a beautiful young woman with a spirited determination to succeed. Aoki is a model and archeologist and continues to be an inspiration to young girls. Here are 10 things to know about Aoki Lee Simmons.

1. Aoki Lee Simmons’ Family

Aoki Lee Simmons and her family

Besides having a popular father, Aoki Lee Simmons’ mother is Kimora Lee Simmons. Kimora is a model, TV personality, fashion designer, businesswoman, venture capitalist, and author. However, her parents divorced in 2009. Aoki has an older sister, born two years earlier, Ming Lee Simmons. Although her father never remarried, her mother married investment banker and former managing director at Goldman Sachs’, Tim Leissner, in 2014.

However, before her marriage to Leissner, Aoki’s mother dated American actor Djimon Hounsou. The relationship produced a son, Kenzo Lee Hounsou, Aoki’s half-brother. Aoki also has another half-brother, Wolf Lee Leissner, from her mother’s second marriage. With her mother’s adoption of Gary Lee Leissner in 2020, Aoki also has an adopted brother.

Aoki was born on August 16, 2002. Her zodiac star sign is Leo, with dates between July 23 to August 22. Leo has a confident and protective personality and loves to lead. They’re bright, funny, and welcoming. A quick look at Aoki’s Instagram page shows she’s a classic Leo.

2. She Has A Multiethnic Background

Aoki Lee Simmons

Aoki Lee Simmons’ has American and Asian ancestry. Her maternal grandmother, Joanne Kyoko Perkins, is half-Japanese and half-Korean. Her maternal grandfather, Father Vernon Whitlock Jr, much like her paternal grandparents and father, are African-Americans.

3. She Attended Harvard University

Aoki Lee Simmons graduates from Harvard

Aoki Lee Simmons is proof that beauty and brains can coexist. Aoki was accepted into the prestigious Harvard University when she was 16. Her mother, Kimora, took to her Instagram to share the moment as Aoki read her acceptance letter. Her father, Russell, also congratulated his daughter and her mother. Aoki graduated from Harvard with a bachelor of arts degree with a concentration in classics in May 2023.

4. Aoki Lee Simmons Began Modeling At A Young Age

Aoki Lee Simmons modeling at 18 months

Being born into an entertainment family exposed Aoki Lee Simmons to the industry at an early age. Her mother, Kimora, is an accomplished model. Unsurprisingly, Aoki found her passion in modeling since they spent much time together. Simmons first modeled in 2004, when she was only 18 months old! In one of her mother’s Baby Phat fashion line runway events, Aoki joined her mother and older sister to walk the runway for the final bow.

5. She Worked At An Archeological Site In Spain

Aoki Lee Simmons at Pollentia Roman dig in Spain

While at Harvard, one of her courses took Aoki Lee Simmons to the Pollentia Roman dig in Spain. Together with the archeological team, they excavated the grounds of the dog in search of relics. Enamored by the findings, Aoki continued sharing images and videos on her official Instagram account.

6. She Used To Shy Away From Cameras

Aoki Lee Simmons Harvard dorm room

Reality TV audiences of Style Network’s Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane will remember Aoki Lee Simmons as Kimora’s shy, younger daughter. Aoki was only a few days from her fifth birthday when the show premiered in 2007. While she didn’t have much say in featuring in a reality TV series, she was more than glad when it ended. Rather than immediately following in her mother’s footsteps, as a pre-teen and early teenager, Aoki focused on her books rather than leveraging her parent’s popularity to shine. She stayed clear from cameras and got admitted to Harvard on merit.

7. Aoki Lee Simmons’ Modeling Career

Aoki Lee Simmons modeling

Although she modeled at 18 months, Aoki Lee Simmons never took it seriously growing up. She was known to sprint down her mother’s runways as a child. She put her modeling life behind her to focus on her plan to attend one of the Ivy League schools. With the disruptions of COVID-19, sending students back home from the dorms, she reconnected with her love for fashion and modeling and chose to take it a little more seriously. Her successful career as a student and model made her add the “Harvard model” to her profiles and bios to help inspire other women to choose whatever career they love and be comfortable with it. Aoki has modeled for several top brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Esprit. In February 2023, she opened for the New York Fashion Show, a first since she became a professional model.

8. She’s Unfazed Being Categorized As A Nepo Baby

Aoki Lee Simmons and mom Kimora Lee Simmons

It’s a common theme in Hollywood and the entertainment world that stars tend to place their children in positions within the industry. With a rising generation of stars mainly composed of offsprings of older stars, they’re often referred to as “Nepo babies,” coined from the word nepotism. However, Aoki Lee Simmons isn’t one to deny she hasn’t had a blessed life. She admits she has no intention of pretending to have started at the bottom. However, she sets the records straight, that much as she got into Harvard on merit, she’s intentional about forging her own path in life.

9. Aoki Lee Simmons’ Relationship With Her Father

Aoki Lee Simmons and dad Russell Simmons

Aoki Lee Simmons and her father have shared a close bond since she was a little girl. In 2020, she went on a vacation with him to Bali, sharing several moments of the trip with her Instagram followers. He sent her a beautifully worded congratulatory message when she got accepted into Harvard. However, in recent times, their relationship has been strained.

In a thankful May 29, 2023 post she shared on Instagram after her Harvard graduation ceremony, she intentionally didn’t add her father to the list. She began her thanks with her mom, grandmother, great-grandmother, and sister, followed by everyone except her father and the Simmons family. Much of it was revealed on Father’s Day, when Russell was caught in a feud between his daughters and ex-wife, Kimora.

It all started with the now-deleted Father’s Day post by Aoki’s older sister, Ming Lee. She wished her mother, Kimora, a “Happy Father’s Day” without referencing her father. Russell responded the next day with a cryptic message. Aoki quickly came to her sister’s and mother’s defense by posting a video of her father yelling (with no audio) on a video call. She later shared chat screenshots between her and her father on her Instagram story. Aoki later suggested her father may have a mental illness and is refusing to get help. After Kimora weighed in, defending herself and her daughters, Russell dropped another cryptic post that seemed like an apology to his daughters.

10. She Has A Growing Social Media Presence

Aoki Lee Simmons Instagram

Aoki Lee Simmons is gradually making a name for herself with rising popularity. Although she has an Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok account, she’s mostly active on Instagram and TikTok. At the moment, she enjoys a following of over 801,000 on Instagram and over 227,000 followers on TikTok. So far, Aoki Lee Simmons has received over 4 million views on TikTok.

Main Heading Goes Here
Sub Heading Goes Here
No, thank you. I do not want.
100% secure your website.