Ivanka Trump fashion: five missteps on the road to oblivion
From manufacturing abroad when her father was denouncing outsourcing, to using fur and allegedly copying a shoe, to getting a free plug from a White House adviser, the Ivanka Trump brand made headlines for the wrong reasons
The Ivanka Trump fashion brand, whose shutdown was announced this week, has rarely been out of the news – especially after her father, Donald Trump, became president of the United States and she a White House aide.
While she has not been involved in running the brand that bears her name since assuming her White House duties, it has suffered by association with her father’s divisive leadership.
The decision to bring the Trump fashion line to and end came after it had been dropped by several big-name department stores, such as Nordstrom. Ivanka Trump said the closure was “the only fair outcome for her team and partners”.
These are some of the issues that earned the brand negative headlines:
1. In March 2016 it was revealed that most of the fashions on the Ivanka Trump website were manufactured outside the US. This came at a time when her father, then still a candidate for US president, had been denounced outsourcing and speaking of bringing jobs back to America at election rallies and on Twitter, where it was one of his favourite topics. A few days after the revelation, the Ivanka Trump Collection was removed from the Trump Organisation’s website.
2. Also in 2016, the brand was accused by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), an animal rights organisation, of using the fur of rabbits slaughtered and skinned in China. The organisation requested the brand to stop using real rabbit fur for the pompoms on hats.
3. The Italian footwear brand Aquazzura accused the Ivanka Trump brand of copying one of its designs. While Ivanka Trump was not the only offender – other brands, such as Banana Republic, faced similar accusations – the Italian luxury brand appeared particularly upset by the actions of Trump’s brand.
One of the most disturbing things in the fashion industry is when someone blatantly steals your copyright designs and doesn't care. You should know better. Shame on you @ivankatrump! Imitation is NOT the most sincere form of flattery. #aquazzura #ivankatrump Proud of mine #madeinitaly #italiansdoitbetter
A post shared by AQUAZZURA by Edgardo Osorio (@aquazzura) on Mar 4, 2016 at 5:30am PST
Aquazzura said in a post on Instagram: “One of the most disturbing things in the fashion industry is when someone blatantly steals your copyright designs and doesn’t care. You should know better. Shame on you Ivanka Trump! Imitation is NOT the most sincere form of flattery.”
4. In February 2017 Kellyanne Conway, a top adviser to President Trump, gave a free commercial for Ivanka Trump during an interview on Fox TV. “This is just [a] wonderful line,” Conway said. “Go buy Ivanka’s stuff, is what I would say – I hate shopping and I’m going to go get some myself today.” Conway faced widespread criticism amid suggestions she may have violated federal ethics rules.
5. Earlier this month, it was reported that the main supplier of shoes for Ivanka Trump was in Sichuan, China, and was still expecting orders from the brand. Commentators noted that the trade war between the US and China had not affected Ivanka Trump’s clothing and shoe business, since the US had exempted garments and footwear from punitive tariffs applied to US$34 billion of Chinese exports.