Exclusive: Ivanka Trump's Brand Responds To Nordstrom

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images.
The Ivanka Trump brand is disputing Nordstrom’s claim that it dropped the brand’s products from its stores “based on performance.”

"Nordstrom ordered both apparel and shoes for the spring, and followed through with the orders on the apparel," a spokesperson for the Ivanka Trump brand told Refinery29. "They canceled the shoe order, kept the apparel order and moved the apparel from online into stores. It's there.”

The dustup comes amid reports on Friday afternoon that two major retailers have removed the first daughter’s eponymous fashion line from their online stock.

Earlier today, Racked reported that Neiman Marcus appeared to have dropped their selection of Ivanka Trump jewelry. This followed earlier reports that Nordstrom had ceased to carry Ivanka Trump merchandise because the brand has not been competitive for the department store.

A source close to Ivanka Trump who is familiar with the situation told Refinery29 that Nordstrom’s decision wasn’t performance-based, saying instead it was politically motivated: “They couldn't handle the political pressure, someone new came in, and there was a change in the attitude toward the brand."

When asked about the claims, a Nordstrom spokesperson told Refinery29, “This was absolutely not political — it was exclusively based on the performance of the brand. This kind of decision is not one we take lightly for any brand we work with. Simply put, the performance has been difficult over the past year." The spokesperson did not respond to Refinery29's question about whether Ivanka Trump apparel is still available in stores, but tweeted the below:
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The Ivanka Trump brand has been under scrutiny since its founder and namesake joined her father’s successful campaign for the presidency. The GrabYourWallet campaign sought to encourage consumers unhappy with President Trump’s policies and ideologies (which include his misogynistic language to “grab women by the pussy”) to refuse to patronize Trump brands, including Ivanka Trump’s various fashion lines. Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus' decisions appears to be a win for those boycotters (Neiman Marcus' name was removed from the GrabYourWallet website this afternoon).

But Rosemary K. Young, senior director of marketing at Ivanka Trump claimed in an statement to Refinery29 that the brand continues to grow:

"The Ivanka Trump brand continues to expand across categories and distribution with increased customer support, leading us to experience significant year-over-year revenue growth in 2016. We believe that the strength of a brand is measured not only by the profits it generates, but the integrity it maintains. The women behind the brand represent a diverse group of professionals and we are proud to say that the Ivanka Trump brand continues to embody the principles upon which it was founded. It is a company built to inspire women with solution-oriented offerings, created to celebrate and service the many aspects of their lives."

This morning, Nordstrom confirmed to Refinery29, along with other outlets, that they removed Ivanka Trump from their stock, citing economic reasons: “Based on the brand’s performance we’ve decided not to buy it for this season,” a spokesperson said in an official statement. “We’ve said all along we make buying decisions based on performance. We’ve got thousands of brands — more than 2,000 offered on the site alone. Each year we cut about 10% and refresh our assortment with the same amount.”

A search on Nordstrom.com shows that the Ivanka Trump label has been removed from the listed designers, and that there are only three products left (shoes on 40 percent discount). Nordstrom Rack had six Ivanka Trump shoes this morning, but as of the time this story went live, no products remain.

Ivanka announced on January 11 that she will be removing herself from leadership positions at the brand, in a move that many see as an effort to avoid conflicts of interest, as she assumes an informal advisory position within her father’s administration.

“When my father takes office as the 45th President of the United States of America, I will take a formal leave of absence from The Trump Organization and my eponymous apparel and accessories brand. I will no longer be involved with the management or operations of either company," she said at the time.

ProPublica reported that Ivanka has resigned from management positions at the brand on January 18, but did not provide resignation documents, nor has filed paperwork. Shannon Coulter, co-founder of #GrabYourWallet, said that shows that Ivanka’s statement is an empty promise.

“We don’t have any information on how profit will be handled. She hasn’t filed paperwork to divest herself of the property at all," she said.

When Refinery29 asked the Ivanka Trump brand whether she has formally divested from the company, we were redirected to a personal spokesman for the first daughter. We'll update once we hear back.

This is a developing story. It has been updated with additional information.
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