Kathy Ireland is an American actress, model, designer and entrepreneur who found success in the 80s and 90s when she appeared as a model in 13 back to back swimsuit issues of Sports Illustrated. She is the chief designer and chief executive officer of the $2 billion worth empire that is her company ‘Kathy Ireland Worldwide’.
Kathy was born in 20th March 1963 in Glendale, California. At 17, she was discovered by an agent from the Elite Model Management and at the time of her high school graduation in 1981, she was a full time working model. Her breakthrough however came in 1984 when she got to model for Sports Illustrated. After this she became a household name and was ranked among the likes of Cindy Crawford and Christie Brinkley. Kathy also appeared in TV shows and films such as Alien from L.A (1988), Unnecessary Roughness (1991), Loaded Weapon 1 and a steady role in the soap opera Melrose Place.
In 1993 Kathy began her own business. With an initial capital of $50,000 launched a line of socks. Later on Kathy also launched her line of designer wear. The business became known as ‘Kathy Ireland Worldwide’ which now has annual revenue of 1 billion dollars. The company has more than 15000 products in market which include baby items, jewelry and furniture. In 2012 Kathy appeared in a magazine but this time it was not a fashion magazine but one of the most well-known business magazines ‘Forbes’ which called her a ‘Super mogul’ for her success as an entrepreneur. Kathy has also released several fitness videos which gave her the idea of creating a brand of fitness clothing. This also led her to acquire a brand license for fitness equipment.
In 2004, her estimated worth was calculated to be approximately $10 million. In May 2012 the British Vogue magazine called her the wealthiest model of the world. She owns an ocean front 3-bedroom estate on Oahu in Hawaii which she rents out as many of her company’s villas. Among her properties is her personal Tuscan-style house in Montecito, California. Some of her other business venture include her line of wedding gowns and dresses. She also provides sites out for rent for wedding events. Kathy is very adept at giving speeches and she has given keynote speeches on several industry conventions and corporate events.
Kathy also does some major philanthropic work. She is very pro-Israel as she has publicly mentioned. Kathy is an ambassador of the Jewish organization ‘Friends of Sheba Medical Center’. She has voiced her support for those affected by Down’s syndrome. She also backs other causes such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Alliance for Global Education, Make-a-Wish Foundation and the Alliance for Christian Education. She is on the board of trustees of the Providence Educational Foundation. Kathy was awarded an honorary degree of the Doctorate of Humane Letters in 2012 by the California State University. She was presented with the ‘Withit 2013 Legacy Award’ in January 2013.