Home Social group Kathy Ireland expands her licensing empire in a fashion line with HSN

Kathy Ireland expands her licensing empire in a fashion line with HSN


Kathy Ireland has proven to have the magic touch in everything she does. At 30, after a career as a model – she appeared on the Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover three times in 1989, 1992 and 1994 – she was aging out of that profession and looking for something more enduring and personally fulfilling.

So in 1993, she traded the glamor of modeling for something eminently practical and not what would be considered glamorous. She designed a range of performance socks with her partner John Moretz, owner of the Gold Toe brand which is now part of Gildan. These socks are still doing well after selling over 100 million pairs and Moretz remains an adviser.

Despite an early foray into fashion with Kmart, he took a back seat to furnishings after Warren Buffett told him fashion was changing, but home remained safer. Today, the house brings in around 40% of Kathy Ireland’s worldwide earnings – lowercase letters to distinguish the business from her person – in a business that now spans entertainment, weddings and resorts, l insurance, real estate, telehealth and fintech.

Fashion brings in only around 8% of revenue, but now it’s fashion’s turn to call on the magic of Kathy Ireland, and she’s getting pretty close. She will appear on Qurate’s HSN TV shopping platform on October 6 at 9 p.m. to showcase her first-ever outerwear line developed with partner Bagatelle International. And it will be his first appearance in an environment where all his talents will shine, not the least of which is his sincerity.

“Beautiful people come in all shapes, sizes, colors and ages. Our designs will cater to that,” she shared with me. HSN has been at the forefront of inclusive sizing with on-air models who actually look like real women, not idealized walking models. HSN is the perfect partner for Ireland as it aims to help women of all shapes, sizes, colors and ages achieve their beauty.

“Our boss is busy moms, so we listen carefully, listen to our customers and develop products and services that will meet their needs,” she said, adding, “HSN is the premier platform for sharing the story around this line.to the women we serve all over America.

Ireland is a big win for HSN as the success of a home shopping brand depends on the chemistry between presenter and audience. And she’s sure to connect with HSN viewers and bring more.

Very early on, she discovered that public appearances did not allow her to speak directly to her clients. On the contrary, public appearances brought hordes of men with well-leafed copies of Sports Illustrated to dedicate. On television, she will be able to speak directly to the women she hopes to serve.

Her debut show will feature six styles of outerwear, all at affordable prices ranging from $129 for a faux leather top to $189 for a wool trench coat that comes in different color palettes and prints. The collection will be exclusive to HSN for 30 days and then available to other retail partners, including Macy’s, online retailer BHFO.com and direct-to-consumer website kiWW.

Chances are Ireland’s first appearance on HSN will sell out quickly, but it will be ready with plenty of other fashion offerings to keep up the momentum of HSN’s fashion presentations. Apparel was Qurate’s only growth category last year, up 10% across QVC
and HSN Channels at $1.3 billion, and it was the second largest category after home at $3.3 billion.

Waiting in the wings is more from Bagatelle, which has the license for denim and special occasion wear with the same emphasis on inclusivity and quality. Others include Amerex for a swimwear line closely tied to Ireland’s image, lkeddi Enterprises with sportswear, pantsuits and day dresses, and longtime partner PPI Apparel. Group, presents underwear, shapewear and sleepwear.

Ireland has big plans for fashion, with the goal of it accounting for 20% of kiWW’s revenue within 24 months.

What on the outside may look like a celebrity tapping their name on something to get royalties is quite different for Ireland and its team, which now numbers more than 100 staff.

“The way we approach licensing is different than many other companies,” Ireland explained. “As a result, our company has a strange shape because we do things in a different way. Everything we do is pretty much unprecedented.

“It’s really shocking to read licensing agreements for other companies that are more concerned with royalty payments than doing the right thing for the people making the products and how the products get to market. My prayer is that there are more brands whose passion is to improve the human condition than simply to obtain an economic return. This is how I define success,” she continued.

Ireland is a committed Christian who runs her business guided by her deeply held Judeo-Christian values. But it doesn’t beat the Bible over anybody’s head; rather, she quietly lives her principles of doing good to all.

“When I was a child, we took trips to Tijuana, where I saw firsthand the exploitation of people. My father worked with Cesar Chavez, who fought for migrant farm workers. As a result , we weren’t allowed to eat grapes at home,” she joked.

“At Kathy Ireland Worldwide, we believed in giving back and doing good long before ESG [environmental, social and governance] was on everyone’s radar,” she continued.

His humanitarian and human rights work is legendary. She spoke at the United Nations for human rights. UCLA recognized her as one of the top ten advocates for women’s health in the nation, and she is a major donor and ambassador for the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. Additionally, last year she was honored with the International Religious Freedom Award. The list is lengthened increasingly.

“There is so much good to do, and sometimes it can be overwhelming. We see the needs that are so much bigger than us, and yet we see the opportunities that are bigger than that. The way we approach it is by giving back. We have seen how we can make a difference,” she said.

She is also proficient in for-profit and non-profit partnerships. For example, Ireland sits on the board of telehealth medicine Let’s Talk Interactive (LTI). Initially, they focused on supporting Kathy Ireland Recovery Centers offering outpatient addiction treatment regardless of the patient’s ability to pay. And now they are bringing telehealth services to parts of the country and the world where professional and affordable medical treatment is most needed.

His humanitarian efforts are fueled by the success of his business empire. And in this she has been singularly successful.

Global license named kiWW the 19th most powerful licensed brand and it is the only woman-led company in its top 20 list. And his is the only sole proprietorship there too.

And as a final footnote to Ireland’s trading prowess, she appeared more often on the cover of Forbes that on Sports Illustrated.