WASHINGTON — Ivanka Trump is shutting down her fashion brand, which she started in 2014 and has been a target of boycotts during her father’s presidential tenure.
“When we first started this brand, no one could have predicted the success that we would achieve,” Ivanka Trump said in a statement. “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.
“I am beyond grateful for the work of our incredible team who has inspired so many women; each other and myself included. While we will not continue our mission together, I know that each of them will thrive in their next chapter,” the statement continued.
The Wall Street Journal first reported about the closure of the brand.
Ivanka Trump resigned from the business last year and placed it in a trust, but some groups like Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington have still raised questions about her interest in the company.
“Ivanka Trump received trademarks from the Chinese government that concerningly coincided with several of her father’s actions towards China,” said Noah Bookbinder, the group’s executive director. “Though the business is ‘shutting down,’ it will reportedly continue to file for new trademarks, which raises questions as to how serious this ‘shut down’ really is and whether the brand will continue to create conflicts of interest.”
The brand did well through the 2016 elections, but some retailers have since removed it from stores, citing sluggish sales. Hudson’s Bay, the Canadian retailer that owns Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue, was the most recent company to eliminate the line. After Nordstrom said in February 2017, that it would drop the brand, President Donald Trump complained on Twitter that his daughter was being “treated so unfairly” by the retailer. Then-White House press secretary Sean Spicer said it was a “direct attack” on Trump’s policies.
Abigail Klem, president of the Ivanka Trump brand, said, “Our platform has become an indispensable resource for our loyal community of women. We’ve seen strong sales since the brand’s inception, which continued through this year with the successful launch of our rapidly growing e-commerce business.”
“I know that this was a very difficult decision for Ivanka and I am very grateful for the opportunity to have led such a talented and committed team,” she added. “When faced with the most unique circumstances, the team displayed strength and optimism.”