Ivanka Trump to close fashion brand amid consumer backlash
Presidential adviser plans to focus on work in Washington
Online campaign had targeted Trump daughter’s brand
Ivanka Trump is out of fashion. The retail company run by Donald Trump’s eldest daughter will soon cease to exist.
The New York Post first reported on Tuesday that the company will be closing “ASAP” and that staff have been informed that they are being laid off. “It’s just never recovered since she stepped away from the company,” an insider told the Post’s Page Six.
The Trump family has faced intense criticism since the 2016 presidential election that they are using the president’s position to further their own business interests. Ivanka Trump formerly separated herself from the company in 2017 in order to address those concerns, but they resurfaced in May when she won several trademarks in China shortly before her father announced he would attempt to reverse a US ban on ZTE, a Chinese telecoms company, that would have gone bust if the decision had been formalized.
In a statement, Trump said: “When we first started this brand, no one could have predicted the success that we would achieve. After 17 months in Washington, I do not know when or if I will ever return to the business, but I do know that my focus for the foreseeable future will be the work I am doing here in Washington, so making this decision now is the only fair outcome for my team and partners.
“I am beyond grateful for the work of our incredible team who has inspired so many women; each other and myself included. While we will not continue our mission together, I know that each of them will thrive in their next chapter.”
Abigail Klem, president of the Ivanka Trump brand, said it had been a “very difficult decision for Ivanka and I am very grateful for the opportunity to have led such a talented and committed team”.
Trump, 36, started her fashion line in 2007 with a line of jewelry and the business has since expanded to include clothes, shoes, handbags and other accessories.
But last year Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom dropped the line, citing “poor performance”, and an online campaign has targeted retailers calling on them to drop her brand in protest against the Trump administration.
Shannon Coulter, co-founder of the #GrabYourWallet campaign which has targeted brands with ties to the Trump administration, said she was not surprised by the news.
“This news is a direct result of the Trump administration’s immigration policy and the forceable removal of kids from their parents,” she said. “It is really clear that when this administration shows its xenophobic, racist tendencies, retailers come under increasing pressure to distance themselves from these brands.”
She pointed to Nordstrom’s decision to ditch Trump, which came shortly after Trump announced his first Muslim travel ban, and more recently Hudson Bay, the Canadian retailer which severed ties after Trump’s imposition of tariffs on Canadian goods.
“The biggest surges we see come as people use this campaign as a peaceful way to protest the policies of this administration,” she said.
Donald Trump’s own line of suits and ties were dropped by Macy’s shortly after he called Mexicans rapists. Ironically the largest retailer to still carry his wares is now Amazon, founded by Jeff Bezos, with whom Trump has had an ongoing battle over his ownership of the Washington Post.