It’s been well over a year and a half and still, no one seems certain what exactly Ivanka Trump’s role as senior adviser to her father truly entails. If running the country is anything like running a clothing brand, though, Ivanka has that position on lock.
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At least, that’s what she and her father want you to believe.
In reality, Ivanka’s brand has been on a bit of a decline after the likes of Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Belk stopped selling her line. Each brand swore the decision was financially driven, alleging that declining sales prompted the decisions.
More likely, the three retail behemoths were reacting to a very loud and very public boycott of the Trump family and their various business ventures. The conversation has quelled since February of 2017, largely because it got swallowed in the rest of the year’s news – from the beginning of the Russia probe to Trump’s indifference to the devastating hurricane season – but now a new major retailer has tossed the feckless Ice Princess to the curb, as well.
An employee from the vendor relation and inventory control team of Discount Shoe Warehouse, better know as DSW, said that the national shoe chain has ended its partnership with Ivanka Trump shoes, according to an email sent to a California shopper, which was obtained by digital publication Racked.
“The last order placed for this brand was early 2017 and there are no future orders placed, so yes, no longer carrying the line,” the vendor specialist wrote in an email dated May 31.
Organizers of the #GrabYourWallet Trump family protest, a play on Trump’s infamous line in the Access Hollywood tape, routinely update their list of retailers that stock Trump branded products. According to their reports, DSW was carrying 67 different pairs of Ivanka Trump shoes as of January 2017. That number has steadily declined. The website is now down to two shoe styles, both of which have been discounted.
Outside of the email from the anonymous DSW employee, the company has yet to release a statement on the matter. By contrast, Ivanka’s brand denied the report when Racked reached out for comment.
That could be enough to cut this article short, but the Trump family is a band of notorious liars, so the chances they’re telling the truth and not trying to delay a future PR nightmare is slim.
Women’s shoes have long been a central tenet of the American woman stereotype, with pop-culture icons like Barbie and shows like Sex and the City fetishizing the concocted narrative of the bond between a woman and her shoes.
Sexist origins aside, shoes are an integral component of many high-brow fashion companies, a reality particularly true for the only daughter Trump likes. Ivanka herself has called shoes “incredibly important.”
While Ivanka will likely never have to want for money (unless her husband, father, and brothers join her in prison where they deserve to spend the rest of their criminal days), losing DSW as a distributor still poses a huge loss for her brand, even if only two styles are presently available on the site.
Wholesale partners are what help bolster sales for most retailers. They provide both an outlet to liquidate old inventory, as well as an additional channel to grow and distribute a brand. DSW, for its part, has some 500 locations across the country and boasts approximately $2.5 billion in annual sales – none of which will apparently filter to Ivanka as of the beginning of June 2018.
Speaking of compensation, it is also worth remembering that Ivanka has reduced her role in the company. She stepped down stepped down from her position at the brand in January 2017, but still banked $6 million from 2016 to 2017 according to a financial report by the New York Times.
The controversies facing her brand may have also played a part in her decision to pull back from a leadership role. The label has faced lawsuits from a number of big designers on copyright infringement. One of the most public feuds saw Ivanka face off against Italian luxury brand Aquazzura, which sued her company for making a shoe “virtually identical” to one of their own. The two companies settled out of court, but that hasn’t stopped Ivanka from ripping off other brands – including the historic Chanel and their iconic two-toned slingback.
Don’t pop the champagne quite yet, though – Ivanka just scored some significant Chinese trademarks, which will effectively allow her and her business to circumvent the growing trade war her father is waging against… well, against the entire world. After he’s done, her brand could be the last one left.