Statuesque, with well-proportioned, graceful curves and with a pretty face to boot, Kathy Ireland is also endowed with a good business sense and entrepreneurial skills that turned her into an industry leader in over a dozen product lines—and, consequently transforming her from a super model to a super magnate.
Born Kathleen Marie Ireland on 20 March 1963 in Glendale, California, Kathy was discovered by Elite Model Management Company when she was just a 17-year old kid at San Marcos High School in Santa Barbara. She was first featured in the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 1984 and graced its cover for thirteen years. Kathy’s feat of appearing thrice on the cover of the magazine’s annual issue was a record that was broken only by Elle Macpherson.
When she became aware that the fashion apparel that she modeled was not suitable for most buyers in the market, she turned her back on modeling in favor of lifestyle designing. After her eponymous line of socks became a best seller at Kmart in 1993, she was given a clothing line of her own. Subsequently, she put up a product marketing company called Kathy Ireland Worldwide, otherwise known as KIWW, whose retail sales from over 50,000 locations in 15 countries across the globe passed the billion-dollar mark by 2005. As a majority shareholder of KIWW, Kathy is estimated to take in about 10 million dollars annually from her worldwide business empire whose product lines have expanded to include landscaping accessories, kitchenware, tableware, furniture, flooring, carpeting, lighting, window treatments, beddings, including reasonably priced jewelry products of the House of Taylor Jewelry that is owned by Elizabeth Taylor.
To translate her newfound interest in lifestyle design into action, Kathy Ireland became a certified fitness instructor in 1994 and penned “Powerful Inspirations: Eight Lessons That Will Change Your Life” and produced best selling fitness videos that aim to promote health, fitness and well being. Towards this end, she also became a contributing editor to Fitness Magazine and authored best-selling children’s books proving that she also has the journalistic talent to go with her great body.
Perhaps taking after her mother, Barbara Ireland, who worked in charity, coupled with her desire to share her good fortune with the less-fortunate, Kathy Ireland had become deeply involved in charitable and other worthy national causes. She has been chosen as the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Ambassador for the National Women’s Cancer Research Alliance, Campaign Chair for the Dream Foundation, the Barbara Ireland Walk for the Cure and Honorary Chairperson for the March of the Dimes WalkAmerica Program. She is also deeply involved in programs for battered women and children and in the information dissemination on HIV/ AIDS treatment.
Foto: “Kathy Ireland (cropped)” by User:Kathy ireland worldwide for the original; User:EBY3221 for the cropped version. – File:Kathy with Gopi & Matt Google+ team leaders.JPG. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.