Trump has been in office for 183 days, 3 hours, 53 minutes, and counting… in lieu of his presidency, there have been several problems involving the businesses of the Trump family. His daughter’s brand, Ivanka Trump, is no exception.
In March, the Ivanka Trump brand was sued in the Superior Court of California for “unfair advantage”. San Francisco company MAC filed a class action suit “to represent a class encompassing all women’s clothing and accessory companies that operated in California between November 9, 2016 [the day after the election] and to the day of the trial.”
With that underway in the United States, Ivanka’s brand also faces critics nationally and internationally. For instance, China’s approval of her trademarks was slammed, with critics labelling it as a political interference of fair business, given that the approval followed so shortly after President Trump meeting with the Xi families at his resort in Florida. With these new trademarks approved, Ivanka can now sell the branded products in China. In spite of the allegations, the country maintains that it gave Ivanka Trump no special treatment.
Trademark registration in China can take 9 to 12 months to be approved. Though some have argued that Ivanka did get preferential treatment, the trademarks were granted around a nine-month period. In an article by NPR, Ivanka also has 182 other pending trademarks in China, Canada, Mexico, Russia and Australia.
Further, there has been more trouble with the Ivanka Trump brand in China. A few months ago, two Chinese labor activists disappeared, and one was arrested. The arrest and disappearances occurred after the labor activists were looking into alleged labor abuses at the factory where Ivanka Trump and other brands reportedly manufacture shoes. NPR.org reports the Chinese labor Director believes that the company is trying to protect Ivanka Trump.
However, somewhat unsurprisingly – given the publicity – the brand has actually seen a tremendous increase in sales since the election. This has occurred despite retailers such as Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus dropping the brand earlier this year, and regardless of the array of women worldwide that are choosing to boycott the purchase of the brand completely.
So what is in store for the Ivanka Trump brand? The next few months will determine if sales will continue to rise despite the legal facades and publicity issues. However, the election certainly has changed the image of the brand, and not only in terms of increasing sales: in the U.S., the brand is no longer considered “luxury”, and has been selling more in lower priced retailers.