These days, supermodel-turned-super-mogul is not a novel occurrence. In fact, before Heidi and Gisele, there was--and apparently, still is--Kathy Ireland. Her empire, which sells over 15,000 products including family-friendly furniture, profits more than the home-focused machine behind Martha Stewart.
Surprisingly, the 48-year-old beauty, most known for her 1989 best-selling Sports Illustrated cover, sells about $2 billion at retail, while Martha Stewart only sells about $900 million, according to Forbes. In return, Kathy is estimated to pocket about $350 million off royalties and licensing rights.
So why does a high-fashion bombshell resonate with shoppers over home DIY and design maven Martha? We believe it has a lot to with Kathy Ireland Worldwide's direction and demographic. In fact, her brand's motto should say it all: “Finding solutions for families, especially busy moms." For example, her rugs are manufactured to include a spill protection synthetic and tables are designed with round corners in order to prevent injuries to children. Kathy and her relatively small crew of 42 are vying for your attention, American moms!
Since 1998, the supermodel has endorsed everything from ceiling fans, socks and even vinyl/plastic replacement windows, which happen to be one of her most profitable products. This is perhaps because they supposedly insulate heat well at a low cost. Accordingly, perhaps her entrepreneurial success as a whole is largely due to how she brings home decor and furnishings down to a more affordable yet fashionable level, which definitely matches up with Stylelist Home's mantra ("Bringing design down to earth") and is definitely something we can support. However, swimsuit models we are not.
So what do you say: Are you a fan of Kathy's collections? Does her incredible sales figures surprise you (or not)?
To read more about Kathy Ireland's empire, visit Forbes or pick up the issue, out Feb. 27.
And to see what she has to say about becoming a CEO, watch this: