There are models, supermodels, and then comes the Kathy Ireland type! If Elle MacPherson is “the body”, Kathy Ireland is “the smile” and “the brains”.
This California native is an oddity for the modeling world. Whereas most models who become household names (and on occasion supermodels) strut their stuff on runways internationally and do myriads of advertising campaigns, Ms. Ireland has made her name by being, first and foremost, a cover girl.
Kathy Ireland falls into that “homegrown” American model type, like Cheryl Tiegs and Christie Brinkley, favored by American advertisers and magazines alike. She never did much runway or international work for that matter. She became the bombshell girl-next-door for Sports Illustrated 13 years running and graced its cover 3 times, including its famed 25th Anniversary issue, and extended that image with a series of film and television roles.
Kathy Ireland, née Kathleen Marie Ireland, is what Forbes magazine calls a modelpreneur. Early on, at a time when it was considered gauche, she associated her name with specific brands, mostly middle-market product lines. Undeterred by her detractors, she is now the name and face behind Kathy Ireland Worldwide. Fine jewelry designer, clothing designer, home goods maven and all-around household name, Kathy’s tenacity and international brand appeal has proven that her eponymous lines aren’t just vanity projects. Quite the contrary, her wide-ranging line of products resulted in retail sales estimated at $1.4 billion annually with representation in over 15 countries [Harvard Business Review study]. With a keen eye for “good” business with a moral purpose, Kathy is also passionate about women taking charge of their voice and their destiny and finding their true passion.
Already firmly established as not just a another pretty face, Kathy has been a frontline supporter for charities like Make-A-Wish Foundation and at the forefront of providing positive role models and mentors for our youth.
Triple threat doesn’t adequately capture just how powerful this woman really is. Business woman, philanthropist, designer, author, wife and mother this true lady among women, is a class act inside and out–not bad for a high school girl discovered by Elite Model Management in 1981. It’s refreshing in this day and age to see someone take the wholesome route to fame and fortune, especially for a model! For that, we salute her as a Diva We Love.
Click on a topic to view all articles related to that topic.