Ivanka Trump’s formerly high-flying fashion brand, which initially won plaudits for innovative jewelry styling but then ran into lawsuits and controversy, is shutting down, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
Trump, who serves along with her husband as a senior adviser in her father’s White House, found it too difficult to continue the brand, given ethical dictates that she step away from her business, according to CNN.
“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,” she said in a widely reported statement.
The 18 people still working at the brand will all be let go, according to reports.
Jewelry was actually the first business the eldest Trump daughter ventured into. The line soon opened a boutique in the SoHo district of New York City and expanded to include handbags and footwear. Trump spoke at industry events like the Women’s Jewelry Association’s In the Know conference in 2010.
But the brand received increased attention—not all of it favorable—following her father’s presidential campaign and eventual victory. In 2015, former partner KGK won a $2.4 million judgment against the jewelry brand for alleged breach of contract.
Some jewelers told JCK that sales of the line slowed down after the first daughter left for the White House. Eventually, the company discontinued the fine jewelry brand, repositioning it for fashion jewelry.
Perhaps inevitably, there was no getting away from politics and the polarizing nature of her father’s presidency. Critics pointed out that just about all her items were made in China. In February 2017, after Nordstrom dropped the line, President Trump slammed Nordstrom in one of his trademark tweets, calling the decision to discontinue selling her product “terrible” and claiming she had been treated “unfairly.” Then–press secretary Sean Spicer called Nordstrom’s move an “attack on the president’s daughter.”
Regardless, other retailers, including most recently Hudson’s Bay, followed suit.
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