Kathy Ireland at New York Stock Exchange
Kathleen Marie Ireland
March 20, 1963
Glendale, California, U.S.
|Residence||Santa Barbara, California, U.S.|
|Occupation||Model, actress, entrepreneur, businesswoman, author|
|Net worth||$420 million (Forbes 2015)|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
Greg Olsen (m. 1988)
Kathleen Marie Ireland (born March 20, 1963) is an American model and actress, turned author and entrepreneur. Ireland was a supermodel in the 1980s and 1990s, best known for appearing in 13 consecutive Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues. In 1993, she founded a brand marketing company, kathy ireland Worldwide (kiWW), which has made her one of the wealthiest former models in the world. As a result of her career as a businesswoman, she had made a $420 million personal fortune by 2015. In 2012, $2 billion worth of products bearing her company's brand were sold.
She has remained involved with various charities and non-profit organizations dedicated to education, emergency response and training for children, disease research and management, and HIV/AIDS.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Modeling and acting career
- 3 Entrepreneurship
- 4 Philanthropy
- 5 Legacy
- 6 Personal life
- 7 Filmography
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Modeling and acting career
As a teenager, Ireland reported that a photographer once "crossed the line" with her and wanted her to pose topless. She did not feel comfortable and he did not respect her "no." He reportedly pushed her and got physical and she "decked him."
During Sports Illustrated swimsuit's 50th Anniversary event, Ireland's 1989 cover was awarded "The Greatest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover Of All Time" by its publisher.
Film and television
Ireland's other appearances include Melrose Place, Boy Meets World, The Larry Sanders Show, Muppets Tonight, Side Out, Mr. Destiny, Necessary Roughness, Mom and Dad Save the World, National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1 (as Miss. Destiny Demeanor), Once Upon a Christmas, and its sequel Twice Upon a Christmas.
Kathy Ireland Worldwide
Founded in 1993 as a brand marketing firm in an exclusive business relationship with Kmart, kathy ireland Worldwide (or kiWW, for short) grew to become one of the world's most valuable global licensors after cutting its ties to the department store chain in 2003. It has consistently ranked among the top 50 licensors, most recently standing at No. 26 on License Global's "Top 150 Global Licensors" 2019 list with $2.6 billion in retail sales. Since its foundation, kathy ireland Worldwide has expanded into many different categories of products, including Home, Fashion Apparel, Wedding, Fine Jewelry, Baby, Children's Toys and books, Publishing, Pet Care, Crafts and Gifts.
1993-2003: Foundation and the Kmart years
In 1993, Kathy Ireland's name on a line of socks sold 100 million pairs and Kmart took notice, subsequently giving Ireland her own clothing line including swimwear, active wear, accessories, sweaters and more.
Buoyed by the initial success, Ireland founded kathy ireland Worldwide, at the beginning a brand marketing firm, which she and her related trusts own in its entirety. The company concentrated on building its business in home products after 2003, when it cut its exclusive ties to Kmart.
2003-2013: Continuous growth
At the advice of Warren Buffett, Ireland's friend and mentor, kathy ireland Worldwide soon entered into the home furnishings business. "Fashion and apparel is consistently changing, but in home it's more consistent," Buffett said. To this day, Buffett opens each Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting with Ireland and Bill Gates.
Already in 2004, Ireland's annual take was thought to be around $10 million. Forbes described Ireland as a "prototype for model-turned-mogul" in a 2006 article about the trend of modelpreneurs. By 2004, kathy ireland Worldwide was marketing products from 16 manufacturers - including those of Nourison and Pacific Coast Lighting - selling them in over 34,000 retail locations in as many as 14 countries.
Between 2005 and 2012, products bearing Ireland's brand generated $2 billion in annual retail sales and the company became a leader in its industry. In a May 2012 British Vogue article, Ireland was called the world's richest model.
Afterwards Ireland started designing wedding dresses and social occasion gowns. She launched her line of wedding gowns by presenting a runway fashion show at the Festival of Brides held in Disneyland Resort in 2012. Sterling/Winters Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of kathy ireland Worldwide, which is the management company for multi-Grammy Award-winning artist Janet Jackson.
American Legend launched a Kathy Ireland collection consisting of 30 styles, which was featured at Macy's beginning in Fall 2011. Ireland is chief designer for Royal Footwear & Accessories (The RFA Group). She has established a relationship with manufacturer Gorham designing dinnerware, glassware and flatware.
Ireland designed a collection of jewelry inspired by Elizabeth Taylor. She welcomed Taylor's dogs, Gracie and Delilah, into her home, also inspirations for her collection of pet care products. Ireland launched a collection of pet products called Loved Ones, which includes furniture, bowls, collars, toys and luxury bedding. She teamed up with Worldwise Inc., a pet products company based in San Rafael, California, to create the pet collection.
2013-present: Strategic relationships
In 2013, kathy ireland Worldwide entered into a licensing agreement with rug manufacturer Nourison, to create a new collection of affordable area rugs. Since that time, Kathy Ireland Home by Nourison has expanded to include more than 20 distinct rug collections.
In 2016, in association with Paul Raps New York, Yaron Turgeman from Taly Diamonds and Roland Krainz from Krainz Creations, Kathy Ireland launched "Diamonds by Kathy Ireland", a collection of sixty-five jewelry pieces: engagement rings, wedding bands, patent-pending earrings, bracelets and pendants. The collection premiered at the 2017 Luxury and JCK shows in Las Vegas.
In July 2018, Fox Business reported that Ireland has ventured into the shipping container business, partnering with SG Blocks, an innovative company renowned for designing and constructing numerous container-based buildings and structures in the United States.
kiWW-supported Level Brands, a licensing, marketing and branding management company, was founded in 2015, with Kathy Ireland acting as the company's Chairman Emeritus and Chief Brand Strategist ever since its inception.
In August 2017, the company announced that it aims to become the first company with a nationally recognized female Chairman Emeritus to launch a Regulation A+ IPO with an intent to list on a national securities exchange. Ireland described the event as "a very dynamic and powerful moment at Level Brands", and Martin Sumichrast – Level Brands' CEO and President since September 2016, and member of the Board of Barings Capital Funds Trust and Barings Capital Global Short Duration High Yield, a MassMutual affiliate – added that the Regulation A+ IPO should "open up the opportunity to invest in an initial public offering[...] to a wider array of investors, at the start." 
On November 16, 2017, Level Brands closed its IPO, after raising its maximum of $12 million by selling 2 million shares at $6 each.
In January 2018, it was announced that, in a license agreement valued at $32 million, Level Brands has partnered with Vancouver-based Isodiol International to create edible, personal care, and medicinal products with cannabidiol.
Since 1994, Ireland has published several fitness videos that led to her design of athletic apparel and launched her brand licensing of fitness equipment. Several of these were VSDA Award-winning, including Total Fitness Workout, Core Workout, Absolutely Fit, Advanced Sports Fitness, Reach and Health and Body Specifics, which was awarded Fitness Video Of The Year.
Ireland has written numerous books, most of them for children. Her debut effort (with Laura Morton), Powerful Inspirations: Eight Lessons that Will Change Your Life, was published in 2002. Real Solutions for Busy Moms: Your Guide to Success and Sanity and Real Solutions: 52 God Inspired Messages from My Heart were published in 2009. Mona's Favorite Words, What Do Mommies Do? and An Angel Called Hope, her first three children's books, were released in November 2005. Since 2013, she has published few more for Bendon: Where Are the Bears, Choo-Choo Colors, Who Wears What, P-O-T-T-Y, Gracie & Delilah: A Tale of Two Precious Pups, and the three-book collection A Big Kid Book Set, consisting of Proud to Potty, Brush Up and Tubbie Time. She has also written six more "blocky books", published by Bendon as well: Cow, Sheep, and Pig, from the "Farm Friends Blocky Books" series and Giraffe, Lion, and Zebra, from the "Safari Friends Blocky Books" series.
She spoke at the fourth Youth Assembly at the United Nations Headquarters on August 13, 2007, encouraging young people to engage in activities aimed at ending poverty. Ireland gave a keynote at the Googleplex, the corporate headquarters for Google on July 12, 2012. She delivered the keynote at Licensing International Expo 2012 in Las Vegas.
Along with statesmen Barack Obama and Shimon Peres, Ireland was the key speaker at the 2012 AIPAC policy conference in Washington, DC, where she expressed her support for the Israeli people and warned against the dangers posed by the lack of knowledge about the history of the land of Israel.
Kathy Ireland is renowned for her charity work and philanthropic activities, which include pro bono work for numerous non-profit organizations such as March of Dimes, PTA, Feed the Children and City of Hope.
In addition, Ireland has lent her estates to charitable organizations such as the US Marine Corps' Toys for Tots to generate funds for charity. According to Major Bill Grein of the US Marine Corps, Ireland's company and her book business partner Bendon Publishing International, the world's largest publisher of children's books, donated $10 million to supplement the 2013 annual Toys for Tots gathering and distribution of Christmas gifts for millions of at-risk children and youths.
In 2015, Forbes named Ireland one of America's 50 most successful self-made women (as measured by their net worth) in its first ever list of the kind. Lending her name to several thousands of different products, she has been repeatedly listed as one of the biggest licensors in the world, and compared favourably to Martha Stewart. It has been argued that Ireland's branding strategy has paved the way for numerous other "modelpreneurs," serving as the inspiration for the likes of Cindy Crawford and Heidi Klum.
In addition, Ireland's successful transformation from a cover girl to a multimillion-dollar entrepreneur has been explicitly cited as inspiring by numerous active fashion models. After appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine in 2012, in a subsequent Today show interview, Kate Upton stated that she would like to follow in the footsteps of other cover girls, specifically Heidi Klum and Ireland. Three years later, in an interview with Matt Lauer, Hannah Jeter, the 2015 Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover model, echoed the same sentiments, revealing that she "would like to model [her] career after someone like Kathy Ireland." Ireland has also been cited as a role model by one of United States' foremost plus-size models, Ashley Graham, who has singled out her as "one of her favourite people to follow on Instagram," because of her morally conscious online presence and her business savviness. Kathy attended the US Open as a guest of Serena Williams Aug 26, 2019  
Ireland married physician Greg Olsen in 1988, and they have three children: Erik, Lily and Chloe. She is a devout Christian and a pro-life advocate. She has also been outspoken in her support for Israel.
Ireland's sister, Cynthia, has a child with Down syndrome. Ireland wrote an article about her niece and the need for an increase in research. In 2009, Ireland appeared on Larry King Live to discuss her weight gain and women's health issues. She had gained a pound a year for 25 years and the cumulative effect had become obvious to her in a candid photograph her son had taken.
Friendship with Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor and Ireland had a close friendship and attended public events together. After Ireland received outspoken criticism for her uneven performance as an on-air host of ABC's 2010 pre-Oscar special, Taylor publicly defended Ireland; "I have never seen anyone epitomize glamour and grace and professionalism like she did." Ireland publicly credits Taylor as her mentor and for part of her success in life, business, design and philanthropy. Taylor bequeathed her Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to Ireland, in addition to leaving her a diamond jewelry collection, which Ireland wore at the 2018 American Heart Association's "Go Red for Women" Dress Show.
Activism and ambassador roles
Ireland and National Football League (NFL) wide receiver Tim Brown are ambassadors for 9-1-1 For Kids, a non-profit organization that specializes in making educational materials to assist emergency dispatchers in teaching children the proper use of 9-1-1 and other general emergency preparedness tips. In an effort to encourage equality in women's athletics, Ireland has hosted several LPGA Golf Tournaments, including the Kathy Ireland Championship from 1999 to 2001 and the Kathy Ireland Greens.com LPGA Classic in 2000. On October 15, 2009, Ireland became an international ambassador for the Friends of Sheba Medical Center. The following year, she traveled to Israel to film a promotional documentary for the Center; titled Holy Land Heroes, the film aims to reveal the work done at Sheba with wounded soldiers and terror victims. In 2019, Ireland was added as the First Woman to the board of NFL Players Association.
Honours and awards
On June 23, 2011, Ireland was honored by the Anti-Defamation League with the American Heritage Award, presented by the National Home Furnishings Industry. In 2012, Ireland received the Messenger of Peace Award at the Jewish National Fund Tree of Life Gala. The same year, Ireland was presented with an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by the California State University, which stated that she "generously uses her power and influence to benefit others, supporting social causes including empowering women, supporting young girls through mentoring, and providing opportunities for girls and women at risk." Ireland has been nominated as one of 17 finalists for the first Global Business & Interfaith Peace Award given by the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation (a U.S.-based nonprofit), and the United Nations Global Compact Business for Peace initiative. On October 13, 2017, at the "Meet Kathy Ireland Event" hosted by Level Brands, Ireland was presented with the key to the city of High Point, North Carolina.
|1988||Alien from L.A.||Wanda Saknussemm|
|1989||Journey to the Center of the Earth||Wanda Saknussemm|
|1991||Necessary Roughness||Lucy Draper|
|1992||Mom and Dad Save the World||Semage, Raff's Daughter|
|1992||Danger Island||Laura||TV Movie|
|1993||Loaded Weapon 1||Destiny Demeanor|
|1993||A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Wicked Wives||Dee Morrison||TV Movie|
|1994||Beauty and the Bandit||Crystal||TV Movie|
|1996||Gridlock||Michele Conner||TV Movie|
|1996||Miami Hustle||Marsha Thomas||TV Movie|
|2000||Once Upon a Christmas||Kristen Claus||TV Movie|
|2001||Twice Upon a Christmas||Kristen Claus||TV Movie|
|1985||Charles in Charge||Woman in Line||"Snowed In"|
|1992||Tales from the Crypt||Joyce||"Beauty Rest"|
|1993||Down the Shore||Rachel||"Computer Date"|
|1993||The Larry Sanders Show||Herself||"The Breakdown: Part 1"|
|1994||Boy Meets World||Alexis||"Model Family"|
|1994||Melrose Place||Brittany Maddocks||"Grand Delusions", "In-Laws and Outlaws", "It's a Bad World After All" and "I am Curious, Melrose"|
|1995||Deadly Games||Amber||"The Camp Counselor: Parts 1 & 2"|
|1995–1996||The Fantastic Four||Crystal (Voice)||"Doomsday", "The Sentry Sinister", "Inhumans Saga: Part 3: Beware the Hidden Land" and "Inhumans Saga: Part 2: The Inhumans Among Us"|
|1997||Sabrina, the Teenage Witch||Shelley||"Trial by Fury"|
|1997||Suddenly Susan||Terri||"Love and Divorce American Style: Part 2" and "Love and Divorce American Style: Part 3"|
|1997||Duckman||Susan/Susie||"Vuuck, as in Duck" and "Aged Heat 2: Women in Heat"|
|1996–1997||The Incredible Hulk||Ogress (Voice)||"Fashion Warriors", "Down Memory Lane" and "Fantastic Fortitude"|
|1998||The Lionhearts||Survive (Voice)|
|1998||King of the Hill||Sylvia||"Peggy's Pageant Fever"|
|1999||Cosby||Kara||"He Who Hesitates is Lucas"|
|1999||Pensacola: Wings of Gold||Sarah||"Tip of the Spear"|
|1999||Touched by an Angel||Karla||"The Last Day of the Rest of Your Life"|
|2002||Strong Medicine||Amber Hutton||"Trauma"|
|2002||For Your Love||Rhonda||"The Helpless Hand"|
|2002||Totally Spies!||Julia Hastings||"A Spy is Born: Part 1"|
|2009||Family Guy||Cardboard Cutout||"Family Goy"|
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