Rejected By Retailers, Ivanka Counts The Cost of Being a Trump
Nordstrom has dropped her fashion line, and two other large retailers may follow suit. But a spokesperson for Ivanka Trump says her brand remains strong.
Many thousands of his opponents have loudly disapproved of Donald Trump’s administration since the president took office two weeks ago. They’ve marched in cities across the country on behalf of women’s rights; donated to nonprofits that may be threatened by the president’s policies; flooded airports where thousands of people were detained after his travel ban; and boycotted Trump businesses and companies that have been silent about his policies.
Of all the varied forms of protest, consumer boycotts may have the most immediate visible impact on the Trump brand, particularly Ivanka Trump’s eponymous fashion and jewelry lines, which have been targeted by the GrabYourWallet campaign since October 11.
Following the news that Nordstrom has dropped Ivanka’s fashion line, citing flagging sales, two other large retailers may be moving in the same direction.
As of Friday morning, Ivanka Trump jewelry had vanished from Neiman Marcus’s website. A sales associate at the department store’s Garden State Plaza location told Racked that they no longer carry Ivanka’s jewelry. Neiman Marcus did not return requests for comment as to whether it will continue to carry the brand.
Reached by The Daily Beast on Friday afternoon, a spokesperson for Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th declined to confirm whether or not the retailer would continue carrying Ivanka Trump products in the future, only that they “currently carry the line.”
Requests for comment from other retailers that carry Ivanka’s clothes and shoes—including Zappos, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, and Lord & Taylor—were not returned.
As of Friday afternoon, five discounted Ivanka Trump items remained on Nordstrom’s website—down from 29 items on January 30, according to Shannon Coulter, one of the women who started the GrabYourWallet boycott.
Coulter, who monitors retailer websites that carry Trump brands, counted 21 Ivanka Trump products on Neiman Marcus’s website on January 29. She speculated that the sudden disappearance of Ivanka Trump products from the luxury retailer’s website was linked to political protest, particularly of the president’s immigration policy.“I think the advent of Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim ban has brought fresh attention to using the boycott as a tool to protest peacefully and move things in a more respectful, inclusive direction,” Coulter said.
Ivanka provoked outrage last Saturday night when she posted a glamorous photo of her and her husband Jared Kushner at a party for Washington elites, as chaos erupted at airports across the country in the fallout from President Trump’s travel ban.
Ivanka posts pictures like this all the time. But its tone-deaf timing was uncharacteristic of the president’s superhumanly poised daughter. Ivanka did not respond to the blowback over her post, though a Vanity Fair source “noted that Ivanka feels terrible” about it and “does not want something like this to happen again.”
Throughout her father’s campaign, Ivanka vowed to go to fight for liberal issues like wage equality and childcare. Two weeks after Inauguration Day, she’s yet to give any indication that she’ll deliver on these promises.
On Wednesday, she accompanied her father to Dover Air Force Base to honor the remains of a commando who was killed during a special forces raid in Yemen last weekend. But it’s unclear what her role as her father’s unofficial advisor will look like under the Trump administration.
The former #WomenWhoWork ambassador has offered a filtered, prettified image of her new life in Washington on her social media accounts: a photo of her father signing his first executive order, for example, or her baby crawling for the first time in the Oval Office.
On January 11, Ivanka announced she was stepping down from management roles at the Trump Organization and her own brands. But ProPublica reported that, as of Thursday afternoon, she was still listed as running Trump businesses “on active state liquor licenses” at two golf clubs, a resort and a hotel in New York and Florida. The article was amended Thursday evening to include a quote from Alan Garten, the Trump Organization’s chief legal officer, who Ivanka she had signed paperwork separating herself from these companies: “Effective [Friday,] everything will be done.”
Garten did not respond to a request for further comment from The Daily Beast.
Nordstrom said in a statement on Thursday that its decision to phase out Ivanka Trump apparel was “based on the brand’s performance,” and for that reason the retailer “decided not to buy it for this season.”
A spokesperson for the Ivanka Trump brand disputed Nordstrom’s statement, writing in an email to The Daily Beast that the retailer “did order both shoes and apparel for spring.” They declined to comment when asked if other retailers were dropping the brand, or if it was scaling back in any way.
“The Ivanka Trump brand continues to expand across categories and distribution with increased customer support, leading us to experience significant year-over-year revenue growth in 2016,” Rosemary Young, Senior Director of Marketing at Ivanka Trump, said in a statement. “We believe that the strength of a brand is measured not only by the profits it generates, but the integrity it maintains.
“The women behind the brand represent a diverse group of professionals and we are proud to say that the Ivanka Trump brand continues to embody the principles upon which it was founded. It is a company built to inspire women with solution-oriented offerings, created to celebrate and service the many aspects of their lives.”