A Complete Timeline Of Ivanka Trump’s Career, From Model To Political Princess

PHoto: Chris Kleponis/Polaris/Bloomberg/Getty Images.
From rich kid to reality star to White House senior advisor, Ivanka Trump’s upbringing is riddled with twists and turns. So how exactly did the former tabloid kid and model grow up to be one of the most powerful women in America? Ivana Marie “Ivanka” Trump (named after her mother and Donald Trump’s first wife) was born in 1981. When she was 11, her parents divorced after Donald’s very public affair with Marla Maples (who went on to become the second Mrs. Trump) and Ivanka gained a ton of media attention, which would eventually launch her teenage modelling career, reality TV stardom, and entrepreneurial ambitions. 
As President Trump’s clear “favourite child,” Ivanka’s White House appointment, alongside her husband Jared Kushner, has been controversial to say the least. Now, as the 2020 election approaches and the Trumps may be ousted from their perch soon (cue millions of people crossing their fingers), we’re breaking down how the notorious Ivanka “Yael Kushner” Trump went from runway model to the Oval-adjacent office.
Photo: Alexis DUCLOS/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images.

1996: Ivanka starts modelling.

At 14, Trump’s modelling career took flight after her debut in a Tommy Hilfiger denim campaign. Elite Model Management Corp., a company with a long-standing personal relationship with the Trump family, helped her launch her 1997 Seventeen cover. Between 1997 and 1999, the 5’10" teen traveled around the world and walked runways for the likes of Thierry Mugler, Jill Stuart, and Vivienne Westwood. After her career in fashion waned in 2007, she told Marie Claire in an interview, “It's as ruthless an industry as real estate. I used it as an excuse to travel. I used it as a way to break up the monotony. I want to be a little bit more serious than that, ha ha!"

2004: Ivanka graduates from college.

After graduating from the illustrious Choate boarding school, Ivanka started studying at Georgetown University, where she spent a year before transferring to the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, her father’s alma mater. She graduated in 2004 with a degree in economics, and her father attended the graduation in a limo and took photos with the other students.

2006: Ivanka makes her TV debut.

After modeling, Trump went into the family business: reality TV. Her tenure as a judge on The Apprentice wasn’t her first reality TV appearance; she also provided commentary for the Miss Teen USA pageant at 15. Working alongside her father, Ivanka would go on to collaborate with season 5 Apprentice winner Sean Yazbeck to develop the Trump SoHo Condominiums. She would later serve as a guest judge on two seasons of Project Runway and make a cameo appearance as herself (along with her husband) in season 4 of Gossip Girl.

2007: Ivanka launches her fashion business.

In 2007, she partnered with Dynamic Diamond Corp. to create Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry, which she sold at her flagship store in Soho. The store “quietly shuttered,” according to a 2015 Racked report. She launched her namesake clothing line, oriented toward professional women, in 2011. Although the line of shoes, bags, clothing, and accessories seemed like a quick success, in 2016, Aquazurra accused her of stealing a popular shoe design, and PETA came after her for using rabbit fur in some of her clothing. Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and other stores stopped selling the Ivanka Trump brand in 2017 following protests of the Trump administration. After a year of scandal and low sales, she announced that the Ivanka Trump line would be dismantled entirely so that she can focus on her political career.
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2009: Ivanka writes a book aimed at working women.

In 2009, Trump authored her first of two self-help books, titled The Trump Card: Playing to Win In Work and Life which opened with the sentiment, “In business, as in life, nothing is ever handed to you.” The book was ghost-written by journalist Daniel Paisner, and received less than flattering reviews. Nevertheless, Trump persisted and published her second book in 2017, Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success.

2010-2017: Ivanka, the real estate mogul.

Photo: Evan Vucci/AP/Shutterstock.
In 2005, Ivanka joined the Trump Organization, working out of side-by-side offices on the 25th floor of Manhattan's Trump Tower with her brothers, Eric and Don Jr. Ivanka specialised in acquisitions and designs, spearheading the 2011 purchase of Doral Resort & Spa in Miami and renovating Old Post Office Pavilion in Washington, D.C., to become the controversial-for-many-reasons Trump International Hotel, now reportedly for sale. According to a 2018 investigation by ProPublica, Ivanka was accused of overstating sale numbers for at least four Trump-owned properties.

2017: Ivanka resigns from the Trump Organization to move to Washington, D.C.

Following President Trump’s election, Ivanka and Jared announced that they will leave their posts at the Trump Organization, sell their assets, and relocate to Washington, D.C. where Kushner would work as a White House senior advisor. Ivanka said she would work in the capacity of “unpaid employee” for her father’s administration. Although there was public concern that the couple’s appointment to Trump’s cabinet was deeply nepotistic and neither had prior political experience, Ivanka was eventually promoted to senior advisor herself.

2019: Ivanka enters her role as senior advisor to the president, a.k.a. her dad.

Now, as the Trump administration’s senior advisor, Ivanka is a key player in her father’s White House. She’s met with leaders from all over the world, and played an influential role in the president’s dealings and decisions. According to her White House bio, she is focused on the education and economic empowerment of women. But her tenure has not been without controversy, as she’s been accused of standing by idly while her father enacts his worst policies, such as the separation of children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. (She eventually spoke out on the subject, but critics say it took her too long.) She’s also been accused of using her political power for personal gain after a watchdog group requested that the Department of Ethics investigate Trump and Kushner for promoting a tax break program that would specifically benefit the two of them. On top of that, her emails — sound familiar? — are being investigated after she reportedly used a White House account for personal business.

It’s been reported that Ivanka has presidential aspirations for the future: "She thinks she's going to be president of the United States," a former Trump advisor said, according to new tell-all book Kushner Inc., by Vicky Ward. "She thinks this is like the Kennedys, the Bushes, and now the Trumps." Whether this spells horror to you or is a welcome change, we’ll just have to wait and see.

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