Kathleen Marie “Kathy” Ireland (born March 20, 1963) is an American former model, actress, CEO and designer of her eponymous brand product marketing company, Kathy Ireland Worldwide.
At 17, Ireland was “discovered” by an agent for the Elite Model Management company, and by the time she graduated from high school, she was working steadily as a model.
Starting in 1984, Ireland was featured in the annual Swimsuit Issue thirteen consecutive years before her final appearance in 1996.
In 1993, Ireland put her name on a line of socks. After they proved a best-seller for Kmart, the retailer gave Ireland her own clothing line. Ireland then founded Kathy Ireland Worldwide, a brand product marketing company in which she holds a majority stake. By 2004, Ireland was marketing products from 16 manufacturers, including those of Standard Furniture. Ireland’s long-term exclusive contract with the K-mart Corporation lasted until 2003, after which the company contracted with thousands of independent mid-tier retail stores for distribution. By 2005, KIWW products were sold at over 50,000 locations in 15 countries, generating an estimated $1.4 billion in retail sales. Ireland’s annual take is thought to be around $10 million, which has prompted Forbes to name her the “prototype for model-turned-mogul” in an article about the trend of modelpreneurs.
Since 1994, Ireland has published several fitness videos.
Kathy Ireland is married to Dr. Greg Olsen, a physician, and they reside in Santa Barbara, California, with their three children: son Erik, born in May 1994; daughter Lily, born on 27 October 1998; and daughter Chloe, born in March 2003. Kathy Ireland has two sisters: Mary Ireland and Cynthia Ireland.