Ivanka’s $100m fashion empire has come apart at the seams


Ivanka was a model turned mogul who took a fine jewellery licensing deal, inked in 2007, and whipped it into a lifestyle empire. Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images
Ivanka was a model turned mogul who took a fine jewellery licensing deal, inked in 2007, and whipped it into a lifestyle empire. Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Ivanka Trump has announced that she is closing her namesake fashion brand. “After 17 months in Washington, I do not know when or if I will ever return to the business,” she said yesterday. “So making this decision now is the only fair outcome for my team and partners.”

It is, seemingly, the end of Trump’s decade-long presence in the fashion industry, a daughter sacrificing the business she nurtured and clearly loved in order to support her father’s attempts to take over the globe on his own terms. I suspect, however, there is far more to it than just that.

Ivanka was a model turned mogul who took a fine jewellery licensing deal, inked in 2007, and whipped it into a lifestyle empire. By 2015, her company boasted gross revenues of $100m (€85m) from clothes stocked in more than 800 stores across the US.

The premise was simple: everything was designed to be appealing and accessible for a very specific target audience: Women Who Work. Trump’s clothing line centred around the millennial-favourite formula of pointed court shoes and slick sheath midi-dresses. A corresponding lifestyle blog hammered home the glossy message via wholesome recipes, new-parenting tips and inspirational career quotes.

Her Instagram account was followed by two million people (mostly women), punctuating her every post with a #WomenWhoWork hashtag.

Then the election happened. Initially, awareness and popularity of brand Ivanka rocketed with the Trump campaign and big win. On January 31, 2017, the brand reported net sales of Ivanka Trump-licensed apparel had risen 61pc from the previous year.

“Women have discovered and become loyal to the brand,” Abigail Klem, the label’s chief spokeswoman, said nine days after Donald’s victory.

A few months later, though, the trouble began. Campaigners turned against Ivanka when she announced she would be playing an official role in her father’s new office.

Working for the world’s most famous misogynist, it turned out, was considered the antithesis of the image her personal brand was all about. The Women Who Work initiative, once a relatively harmless fashion spin to sell workwear, was suddenly being intertwined with serious policy suggestions. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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