The TRUMP card
Fashion and power are winning hands for Ivanka, writes Anna Caldwell
I vanka Trump is poised to become one of the world’s most powerful fashion icons as she transitions from savvy businesswoman to America’s new first daughter, all while cleverly building her own brand empire.
The eldest daughter of America’s president-elect Donald Trump, Ivanka is set to become the United States’ answer to Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge — a fawned-over style-setter ensconced in one of the world’s most powerful families.
But the key difference is this — as the fascination swirls around her, Trump will be building the power and reach of her own eponymous fashion label.
With an estimated net worth of $US150 million, she has spent almost 10 years building her fashion empire. Her products are stocked at 800 retailers, including mass-market players like Macy’s, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus and Amazon.
The Los Angeles Times reported this year that the Ivanka Trump fashion label got a boost — especially in the dress category — whenever the young Trump stepped into the limelight on the campaign trail for her father.
It’s an effect that will only be magnified in her capacity as first daughter, with her exposure to everyday Americans boosted. Trump — who has already been accused of using her father’s politics to advantage her company — insists she’s tried to keep her fashion label separate from the campaign, but has deftly used social media to promote what she’s wearing.
“My brand was launched far before the presidential cycle commenced and will continue long afterwards,” she told Fortune’s Most Powerful Women conference this year.
“I’ve always tried to maintain complete separation between that and the campaign.” At odds with this remark, this week Trump used an appearance on her father’s 60 Minutes interview to sell her jewellery line. After wearing one of her label’s bracelets on camera, her company sent a “style alert” email to fashion journalists detailing how to buy the $US10,800 piece. Similarly, on the night of her speech introducing her father at the Republican National Convention in July, she took to Twitter to promote the pink sheath dress she wore. “Shop Ivanka’s look from her RNC speech,” the tweet said, linking to the $138 dress on the Macy’s website. It sold out swiftly.
Her brand revenue was up by $US11.8 million in the first six months of 2016 compared with the same period in 2015.
At one point in the election campaign, Clinton supporters launched an online push for women to boycott the Trump label in stores, but it is unclear if this had any impact. Ms Trump was unfazed.
“The beauty of America is that people can do what they like,” she told America’s ABC. “But I prefer to talk to the millions, tens of millions of American women who are inspired by the brand and the message that I’ve created.”
The Trump children have captured the attention of America with their good looks, eloquence and business smarts, but none more so than Ivanka.
She has always been the most visible child of the Trump family, modelling in magazines and for fashion labels since she was just 16.
The 35-year-old is a model and finance graduate who has built her own successful company and is now poised to take stewardship of her father’s international business empire while he is in office.
She’ll also act as a close confidante of her father, to the extent that some have labelled her a de facto first lady, as he looks to her for advice on family issues and workplace equality. It’s this convergence of power plays that will make her one of the most sought-after and obsessed-over fashion figures in the world.
Ivanka Trumprump andand (inset)inset)( inset) Kate Middleton. Picture: MRR PhotoPhoto//Corbis//Corb Getty Images