Kym Gold was already a successful businesswoman and designer with three fashion companies under her belt when she and her then-husband Jeff Lubell co-founded True Religion in 2002. The marriage ended in an acrimonious divorce after 20 years and the brand sold for almost a billion dollars in 2013. Gold was ousted from the company with a multimillion dollar settlement before the big sale.
In part due to a larger downturn in retail across the board, True Religion filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July. The company hopes to remain in business following financial restructuring.
As busy as ever, Gold also flips houses, and produces documentaries, movies and reality TV shows, yet still found time to write an inspirational book, “Gold Standard.”
“I wrote the book because I was tired of women being bullied in the boardroom and having my ex-husband say I had nothing to do with True Religion when I designed all the ranges,” Gold said. “I wanted to write a book for women who have been through a bad divorce and not received the credit they deserve.”
Gold, an identical triplet, was raised in Malibu where she and her siblings spent their childhood running along the beaches. Her parents were comfortably off, rather than rich. It’s important to Gold that people realize she is a self-made woman who earned her own money by working hard. When she married her first husband, Mark Burnett, he wasn’t the reality show mega-producer he is now (“Survivor,” “The Apprentice,” “The Voice”).
“We were married at my parents’ Malibu home by a rabbi,” Gold said. “We were both very young and Mark was just a boy from London who loved the Malibu life.”
The marriage lasted five years and they remain friends. There were no children, but their subsequent offspring are pals. “One of Mark’s children has the same birthday as one of mine,” she shared.
Gold recently sold her Malibu home for $26.6M and built a house in the hills of Encino to be nearer her sisters. She prefers to retain fond memories of Malibu and raising her three boys here—”It’s not the charming place I grew up in. It’s overcrowded now. Locals can’t even get into Nobu.”
On Nov. 3, Gold joins “She Tank”—a panel of outstanding successful women investors who will listen to the pitches of female entrepreneurs. Funding, mentorship, contacts and resources will be offered to the selected few. The next day, Gold is receiving a Trailblazer Award at the Live Love Thrive conference in West Hollywood. “I am honored to receive the award and be on the ‘She Tank’ panel,” Gold said. “I think it’s the duty of people who have the resources to give back.”
The founder of the Live Love Thrive conference, Catherine Gray, said, “Kym is getting the Trailblazer award for being a cutting-edge, successful businesswoman who helps other women and female business owners thrive.”
Gold’s mantras in business are: “I’m never looking for a ‘No,’ always looking for a ‘Yes” and, “First to be first, not first to be second.” Her biggest accomplishment, she says, is being mother to three young men aged 20, 23 and 24.
Happily engaged to actor Marlon Young, Gold grows her own fruits and vegetables and works out daily in the gym she built in her new home. She’s currently in talks to turn her life story into a TV series and is especially excited about a documentary she’s producing (directed by Lysa Heslov) about women veterans, called “Serve Like A Girl.”
Gold and Gray share a vision to have greater numbers of women in positions of influence.
“Once we have more women in the House and Senate,” said Gray, “and more women at the decision-making table in every industry, the planet will start to change for the better.”
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