Friday, October 14, 2016

Trumped!: Ivanka edition

Donald Trump's brand is sinking, politically and otherwise. How is  Ivanka's doing?
The fashion, jewelry and digital lifestyle enterprise, which she launched in 2007, generated $100 million in revenues in the last fiscal year, according to G-iii, the $2.3 billion apparel giant that manufactures and distributes Ivanka’s wares.
That doesn't tell us much. Since revenue is not the same as  profit, her profits on 100 million revenue could be 30 million, 10 million, or zero.
Her collection itself – which sits in the contemporary market, stocking $130 dresses at Lord & Taylor, Nordstrom and Macy’s and $250 bags and $160 shoes at Bloomingdales and Zappos – has come under fire in the past. In March Italian footwear brand Aquazzura publicly called out Ivanka Trump collection for copying its best-selling Wild Thing shoe.
Aquazzura subsequently filed a strongly worded complaint in a lawsuit against Trump’s company for trade dress infringement, alleging that Trump and its footwear licensee Marc Fischer “mimicked every key element of the trade dress of Aquazzura’s well-known and distinctive” Wild Thing style shoe. That lawsuit is still pending in federal court in New York.
Is her brand facing some backlash?
But these instances are arguably small change compared to the damage that Ms. Trump could potentially be doing to her brand in the eyes of many consumers due to her connection with her father’s highly controversial campaign. She has undoubtedly been careful; she projects an image of daughterly respect and support for her father without aligning with his theatrics and more outrageous statements, and has been sure to divorce her political life with that of her brand – her social media feeds, for instance, are notably politics-free. When asked why Ivanka avoids political comment, a person who works for her told the Chicago Tribune: "Both Republicans and Democrats buy Ivanka Trump."
Still yet, there are absolute ties between her brand and her campaign presence – literally and figuratively. Take, for instance, the garments and accessories she wore to the Republican National Convention, which she documented on ivankatrump.com: The shoes, handbag, jewelry and blush pink frock were all from her collection. The company strategically tweeted a link for consumers to buy a similar dress to coincide with the convention; the $139 dress sold out in less than 24 hours. The “Floral Party Dress” she wore on The Today Show just prior to the convention sold out in most sizes, as well.
Just like home shopping---push a slow selling item by displaying it in its most appealing setting.

My untutored guess, and just a guess, is that by this time next year, we'll be seeing some very heavily discounted Ivankas on the sale racks at Marshalls.

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