This Summer 2019 season of Las Vegas Market, Kathy Ireland, CEO and Chief Designer of Kathy Ireland Worldwide and ambassador for the The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, was the featured guest at the 9th annual Up on the Roof fundraiser benefiting Gift for Life.
The social event raised critical funds for DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS, a cause Ireland is particularly passionate about. Our host, Arch-Interiors designer Christopher Grubb, caught up with the design mogul and philanthropist at the event, where he learned all about how she first got involved in her longstanding commitment to the organization.
“Like everyone, my heart was broken when the AIDS epidemic hit,” Ireland said. “Elizabeth Taylor has been a mentor in so many categories in life, including the war on HIV/AIDS. When this epidemic first hit, she was frustrated that so little was being done, you know, like why isn’t anyone doing anything? She looked in the mirror one day and said, ‘wait a minute, I’m somebody. I can do something.'”
It wasn’t easy for Taylor’s work to start up, but she made quite the lasting impact.
“When she reached out for help, her friends and business associates hung up on her,” Ireland said. “She received death threats. I love this woman, she is so brave and so courageous. She didn’t let any of that stop her and she went on to become of the Joan of Arc of AIDS.”
Now, through influential events like the Gift for Life fundraiser, Ireland believes we are closer than ever to finding a cure – and keeping Elizabeth Taylor’s legacy alive.
“There’s a lot to be done, but I do believe that one day we will live the reality of being in an AIDS-free world,” she said.
To hear more about Kathy Ireland’s work, be sure to catch her full exclusive interview with House Tipster Industry in the video player below.