Ivanka Trump’s fashion brand will soon cease to exist. According to a New York Post report, the company will be closing “ASAP’” and the staff have been informed that they are being laid off. The retail fashion brand was launched in 2007 with just a jewellery line, but now includes handbags, shoes, clothes and other accessories.
Ever since her father, Donald Trump became President of the United States of America, Ivanka, who also serves as senior advisor to the White House, has faced criticism that her business is getting leverage owing to her father’s position. Even after she separated herself from the company in 2017 as a response to these concerns, controversy again struck in May, when she won several trademarks in China. This came shortly before the President announced he would attempt to reverse an American ban on a Chinese telecom company, ZTE, that would have closed down if the decision had been formalised.
In addition, the brand has also faced flak for the poor working conditions under which its factory workers must work across Asia. Almost all its products are manufactured in factories in Bangladesh, Indonesia and China. A Guardian report had stated that employees of the brand in a factory in Subang, Indonesia are paid one of the lowest minimum wages in Asia and there are claims of impossibly high production targets and sporadically compensated overtime.
This complaint came only a week after labour activists investigating possible abuse at a Chinese factory that makes Ivanka Trump shoes disappeared from police custody. The activists had claimed to have discovered major violations at the site, some of which included salaries being paid far below China’s legal minimum wage, managers verbally abusing workers and women’s rights violations.
Speaking on the closure of her fashion line, Ivanka has said, “When we first started this brand, no one could have predicted the success that we would achieve…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.”
It has recently been dropped by several retailers such as the Nordstrom chain and Canada’s largest department store chain, Hudson’s Bay. Both companies have blamed poor sales for their decision. According to the Wall Street Journal, online sales at Amazon, Macy’s and Bloomingdales fell almost 45% in the year to June.
It would be an understatement to say that it’s not a pretty picture for the Trumps, going by the recent slew of criticism, controversy and now a failing business which seems to be dogging the family.