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Kimora Lee Simmons Opens New JustFabulous Web Store; Will Black Women Support?

“Blasian” beauty Kimora Lee Simmons has raised her model-turned-mogul business savvy to another level with the recent announcement that she’s been named president and creative director of JustFabulous.com, an online “style of the month” club.

The JustFabulous web store offers affordable (nothing is priced over $39.95) handbags, shoes and accessories selected especially for club members based on a personality test taken upon registering at the website.

The personality test deems you “classy,” “conservative,” “trendy,” or “other,” and your own personal boutique is assembled with items that coincide with your fashion preferences — along with fashion advice and recommendations for other products that can augment the items you purchase.

At this point in the company’s evolution, it does not appear that JustFabulous is making a specific effort to woo black women, which, of course, is the company’s marketing prerogative, but with all the investor funding this startup has to work with (over $62 million), and given the fact that its president and creative director is half black herself, is married to a black man and is raising black children, the question is, will Kimora bring a commitment to diversity with her to the table when the hiring and marketing decisions are being made?

Currently, the website boasts “an amazing team” of style experts that includes, among others, an “in-demand” celebrity stylist and a former Elle magazine editor. JustFabulous assures the consumer, “… the JustFabulous team of Style Experts is comprised of fashion powerhouses and industry insiders. Their status in the biz offers unlimited access to upcoming trends so our Coveted Closet is continuously updated with their latest finds …”

Hmm.

Just off the top of my head, I can think of several “amazing,” “in-demand” stylists, whose expertise could bring both fashion and flavor to the so far homogenous-looking JustFabulous style team, while at the same time making a statement to black consumers that diversity is valued at the company.

"Shawn B" Barton, Jason Sky, June Ambrose, Misa Hylton, Tameka Foster

The very long list of female celebrities styled by one or more of the talented artists  in this group includes: Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Raven Symone, Jennifer Lopez, Lauren London, Keri Hilson, Janet Jackson, Lauryn Hill, Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, and … ahem … Kimora Lee Simmons.

I wasn’t in the room when the hiring discussions were had at JustFabulous, so perhaps I’m way off base, and one or all of these successful stylists, were included in the conversation about who to put on the company’s “amazing team,” but at the end of the day, JustFabulous settled for a group that does not come close to reflecting the ethnic diversity of the American consumer base.

Although the faces on the website aren’t diverse enough for my liking, the company’s message is definitely an attractive one:

“We stay on top of the trends, so we know what’s in and what’s out. Our styles are designer-inspired, which means they’re worthy of any runway, whether it’s New York’s 5th Avenue or the aisle of your local grocery store. If you favor high-end brands like Louis Vuitton, Prada, Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin, but can’t afford the toll they’ll take on your pocketbook, then try JustFabulous. We’ve got the look, and each item is only $39.95. The right pair of shoes or handbag provides the perfect finishing touch to any outfit. So don’t get caught looking drab — be JustFabulous!”

Before I join the club, I’ll be watching the website to see how the diversity picture develops …

kathleen cross