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Why Ivanka Trump Is Shutting Down Her Fashion Brand

Ivanka Trump is pulling the plug on her namesake fashion brand.

The first daughter and adviser to President Donald Trump said today that she will wind down the business she started in 2007 to prioritize an indefinite run in Washington, D.C.

“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,” Ivanka Trump said in a statement. “So making this decision now is the only fair outcome for my team and partners.”

Around the time of her father’s 2017 inauguration, Trump had relinquished her day-to-day responsibilities at the brand and placed the company in a trust. A spokesperson for the label said she was also compelled to place “strict limitations on the business” to avoid conflicts with her role in the White House.

“The brand worked with ethics counsel to ensure that all [Office of Government Ethics] guidelines were adhered to and that the brand avoided the appearance of conflicts and took steps beyond what was legally required,” the spokesperson said. “When Ivanka resigned, the restrictions placed on the brand limited the brand’s ability to grow — both domestically and abroad.”

In the weeks immediately following Trump’s inauguration, several reports suggested the brand enjoyed rising sales, particularly after occasions when the first daughter stepped out in the label’s gear. But positive news quickly soured as a controversial executive order signed by president Trump — banning travel to and from several Muslim-majority countries — spawned backlash from members of the fashion community and reportedly motivated Nordstrom to drop the collection.

At the same time, the brand had also become the subject of a major boycott campaign (#GrabYourWallet), inspired by sexually explicit comments the president made in 2005. As the campaign gained steam, numerous stores — including Neiman Marcus and TJ Maxx — reportedly discontinued the line or scaled it back significantly. Research has also highlighted dimming sales for the label in tandem with political controversies. (Canada-based HBC this month also dropped the collection from its Hudson’s Bay stores, citing performance — although some insiders suggest the decision was motivated by Trump’s escalating trade war, which has grown to include Canada.)

Still, the brand’s representatives said all has been well when it comes to sales and that the decision to shutter the label “has nothing to do with the performance and is based solely on Ivanka’s decision to remain in Washington indefinitely.”

“We have seen strong performance since the inception of the brand both in growth and overall impact,” the spokesperson said. “Most recently, the brand launched a successful ecommerce business that has been growing rapidly. “

The company also said Trump received “several lucrative offers” to sell the brand prior to her resignation last year, “but she determined that selling the brand was not something she could agree with since a third party likely would not have adhered to the restrictions she put in place.”

The company said it plans to uphold its commitments to partners, who will continue to produce and sell product through the end of their licensing agreements. (Marc Fisher Footwear is the brand’s shoe licensing partner. FN has reached out to the firm for comment.) The product will continue to be sold at Lord & Taylor, Dillards, Bloomingdales, Zappos, Amazon, Von Maur and others through completion of those agreements.

“We are incredibly proud of the brand we have built and the content and product we’ve developed for our customers. Our platform has become an indispensable resource for our loyal community of women,” said Abigail Klem, president of the Ivanka Trump label. “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.  When faced with the most unique circumstances, the team displayed strength and optimism. From the initial launch of the brand in 2014 to the recent expansion of direct-to-consumer capabilities on our website, I am thankful to the team for the great work they have done and to our outstanding partners who so diligently executed our brand vision.”

Ivanka Trump launched a fine-jewelry line in 2007 — adding shoes in 2010 and apparel in 2013. In 2010, the Ivanka Trump collection was awarded the FN Achievement Awards “Launch of the Year” honor.

The business debuted a lifestyle website in 2014 — the year it often cites as its official launch date.

“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,” Trump said.

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