NEW YORK, United States — Ivanka Trump, the US president's daughter, is shutting her namesake fashion brand, which she formally departed in January 2017, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
Before her father Donald J. Trump became president, Ivanka built a successful fashion label selling clothing and accessories in hundreds of department stores and boutiques across the US. According to Fortune, Ivanka's sales soared in 2016, with wholesale up 61 per cent, profiting $47.3 million.
But by February 2017, following a divided election and protests against Donald Trump and his policies, Ivanka Trump products started vanishing from stores such as Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and ShopStyle.
As boycotts and protests ensued, other retailers sought to distance themselves from the label. T.J. Maxx told employees to eliminate all Ivanka Trump signage in its stores. Sears chose to pull Ivanka's merchandise from its stores but continued to sell them on its website. In April 2017, BoF learned that G-III, the company that licenses Ivanka Trump ready-to-wear, relabelled inventory without the knowledge of the brand and sold it to discount chain Stein Mart.
Most recently, Hudson's Bay said it was dropping the line, citing weak sales.
"The decision to close down the Ivanka Trump fashion brand reflects both the lack of time Ms. Trump has to devote to the business and the various political challenges the company faces," said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail. "Ms. Trump was always closely associated with the brand but her current responsibilities mean she has had to take a back seat. This lack of control is likely uncomfortable when the label bears her name and is largely seen as an extension of her personal brand."
According to the WSJ, Abigail Klem, who took over as president of the brand in 2017, informed its 18 employees on Tuesday that the company would be shutting down. Ivanka is expected to address staff later that day.
"While the brand will disappear in the short term, the copyrights and intellectual property will be retained," Saunders added. "This means a future relaunch is possible."