Kathy Ireland on Her Mentor Elizabeth Taylor

By ANTOINETTE BUENO

March 26, 2013

Though Kathy Ireland was once-known for her Sports Illustrated days, the 50-year-old former model has surpassed that recognition with her current design career and recently landed another type of cover -- Forbes magazine, in which she's being celebrated for her mega-business which moved an incredible $2 billion worth of retail products last year alone.

ET sat down with the "super-mogul," who credits at least part of her amazing success to one of her biggest mentors -- the late Elizabeth Taylor.

Pics: Hollywood's Biggest Earners

"I've been blessed in my life to be mentored by some incredible people, including Elizabeth Taylor, who caused me to look at life, business, design, philanthropy with a whole new set of eyes," she said. "Elizabeth knew her business like it's nobody's business."

In fact, it was her vast knowledge and hands-on approach that she considers the biggest lesson the legendary actress taught her.

"Watching her go through her contracts, her documents, the way she would approach design, that she would just find beauty," she said. "The integrity to everything she did was so critical -- but more than anything it was her heart. And she truly continues to change the world and teaches me lessons from heaven continuously."

Ireland also talked about the low expectations put upon her because of her modeling past, and how rejection actually became a strong motivational force -- one thing she thinks people would be surprised to learn about her is that she "barely" graduated from high school.

"I encourage people -- just because you have a lack of education -- don't let that stop you," she stressed. "At the same time I believe in education ... I believe for young people, every opportunity you can get to learn, take it and seize it -- whatever it is, however it looks for you, everyone's path is going to be different. But don't let someone else's limitations on you stop you from accomplishing what you want to do in life."

Video: Kathy Ireland Gifts Military Dream Wedding

Check out the video to hear how Ireland started her $2 billion brand with just a single pair of socks.

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