"I Decided From A Young Age"

Aoki Lee Simmons always knew she would attend an Ivy League. Kimora Lee Simmons’ youngest daughter shares her story with HuffPost.


“I decided from a young age, I wanted to go to Harvard, Yale, or Princeton, much like Blair from Gossip Girl,” the young adult shares. “I do this thing where I’m like, ‘I want to have a plan.’ And everyone’s like, ‘Thank you for your 85th five-year plan.’ They’re like, ‘No model has an eight-year plan. Please calm down.’”

Aoki Lee Simmons stuck with her plan to attend Harvard and began her freshman year at the age of sixteen. The model graduated from the university last month with her mom as one of her biggest cheerleaders.

“I have great parents. I have a great mother,” Aoki tells HuffPost. “I live with my mom,” the model shares. “My dad is like a fun uncle,” Aoki adds. “My mom is my mom. That is my person. She’s not letting me fall, or mess up.”

Aoki Lee Simmons faced a bit of criticism during her final months at Harvard after revealing plans to build her career as a model. Some went so far as to question the young adult’s decision given her then-forthcoming status as a Harvard graduate. Kimora Lee Simmons was the first to defend her daughter as well as the modeling industry as a whole.

“I have been trying to apply an academic framework to my life because it’s important for me,” Aoki says of her life as a rising model. “The gig economy of modeling is baffling to my brain, so I’ve been trying to understand my job,” she continues.

As the daughter of a fashion mogul and a legend in the music industry, Aoki often gets labeled as a “Nepo Baby.” The model does not deny the opportunities she has received as the daughter of show business royalty.

“I’m very blessed and very grateful,” Aoki tells HuffPost. “I’m never going to be the person who stands up and says, ‘I started from the bottom,’ because it’s not true,” she admits. “I’m never gonna give you the Drake line. It’s not accurate,” Aoki adds.

“Beyond that, when it comes to my plans, I want to forge my own path,” the young adult declares.

Photo: Ninah/Instagram



Sarie is a writer and editor for BCK's Los Angeles division. She also shares stories on Medium that are meant to encourage thought and discussion. You can catch her outside enjoying nature and classical literature. Pop culture is pretty fun, too!

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