From Model to Mogul: Kathy Ireland’s New Diamond Business

By Henry Fernandez

Published May 02, 2016

FOXBusiness

Supermodel-turned-business mogul Kathy Ireland is expanding her empire, kathy ireland® Worldwide, with a new venture set to launch later this year.

DIAMONDS by kathy ireland®, in association with Paul Raps New York, is the latest addition to the reported $420 million fortune she has built and now sets to bring consumers the greatest quality in diamonds.

During an interview on the FOX Business Network’s Mornings With Maria, the kathy ireland® Worldwide, CEO says she values the integrity of her business partner, especially in an industry that can be associated with corruption.

“It can be a corrupt industry,” Kathy told host Maria Bartiromo. “From mine to finger, to have the integrity that these [diamonds] are true quality and that they’re done with the utmost quality and integrity.”

Kathy says customers are highly driven by value and are often searching for instant gratification.

“They [customers] want to make every dollar count. The diamond is something that you can pass on, it’s lasting. That’s important,” Kathy said.

The self-made entrepreneur has been an inspiration to women who have been trying to start their own businesses. However, the transition from model to CEO has not been without challenges.

“People say well it’s easy for you, you had this modeling background. My response is, if you have anonymity that is a gift because people don’t have preconceived notions about you,” Kathy said.

Ireland has always believed that nothing can stop you from succeeding as long as you are truly passionate about what you believe in. In 1993, she launched a line of socks with Kmart and founded kathy ireland® Worldwide, to expand her licensing.

She graced the cover of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue for 13 consecutive years; The 25th anniversary edition in 1989 remains the highest-selling Sports Illustrated issue of all time.