During a break on the set of a TV show in Los Angeles, Kathy Ireland discussed her role at Level Brands with IBD.
Developing True Partnerships
Ireland says kiWW has a unique business model that starts with licensing products. (The magazine License! Global ranks her No. 26 among the most powerful brands, just behind Ferrari and ahead of Ralph Lauren.)
“We carefully vet everyone we work with to be sure we share the same values,” she explained. “We have thorough contracts, but then we put them in a drawer to work together like a family, hoping for the best. Our aim is to become full, formal partners so that we have a powerful relationship in which we are mutually invested. Probably close to 90% of these work out well and we’ve had some partnerships for 15 to 24 years, compared with an average of just a few years elsewhere.”
The hybrid of licensing and partnerships covers a vast array of products and services, stretching from the NuGene line of stem cell-based cosmetics to offering insurance customized for entrepreneurs. As part of this boundary-stretching business model, she is the chief creative officer for virtual reality company Endeavor One and lifestyle brand I’M1, part of Level Brands — doing everything from producing music festivals to making films.
Roseberry says that her fierce dedication to combining innovative quality with affordability has enabled kiWW to successfully enter new markets, like diamond jewelry (hers has a patented design), that would otherwise be virtually impossible to penetrate. He said that Ireland’s brand also helps one of her primary target audiences, busy moms like herself, simplify the choices they face by knowing they can trust her judgment.
Ireland says she’s very careful about picking the right “brand ambassadors” and is especially excited by Katie Meade for the Beauty & Pin-Ups line of hair care products.
“She’s the first person with Down syndrome to be the spokesmodel for a beauty brand and she’s turning the industry on its head,” said Ireland. “Beautiful people come in every size, color and age, and I rejected the idea from my early career that everyone should have the goal of unobtainable sameness in their appearance.”
See more at: http://www.investors.com/news/management/leaders-and-success/supermodel-kathy-ireland-became-a-role-model-for-moguls/