russell_simmons.jpgFifteen years after founding the influential clothing line Phat Farm and it’s related brands, Russell Simmons has stepped down as CEO of Phat Fashions LLC. Simmons sold the company to St. Louis based apparel and consumer goods manufacturer Kellwood in 2004, but has remained on board as chief executive. "I have enjoyed my association with Kellwood over the last three years,” Russell said in a statement. “We have accomplished much during this short period of time, and I leave the division and the brand in great hands. There are so many things I want to achieve, and this is the appropriate moment for me to move on to my next business venture." Since its inception in 1992, Phat Fashions has expanded to include several sub-brands including Phat Farm Boys, XV and the widely popular women’s line Baby Phat. There are currently 13 flagship Phat Fashions stores worldwide. "Russell Simmons is one of the true pioneers of the urban lifestyle fashion business," said Kellwood chairman and CEO Robert C. Skinner. "He leaves an outstanding creative legacy at Phat Fashions, and we will continue to build on that heritage as Phat Fashions continues to break through boundaries and set the standard for innovative design and high quality sportswear." With his departure, Russell will retain ownership of his new high end apparel brands, Russell Simmons Argyle Culture and Atman.