Is Ivanka Trump Planning a Big Fashion Comeback in China?

Ivanka Trump shut down her eponymous clothing line last July. Six months later, before the last of her heavily reduced stock has been sold, the first daughter is already planning her comeback. As the AP reported, Chinese officials have approved five trademarks Trump first filed in 2016 and 2017. Given Trump’s self-branding as a lifestyle…

Is Ivanka Trump Planning a Big Fashion Comeback in China?


Ivanka Trumpshut downher eponymous clothing line last July. Six months later, before the last of herheavily reduced stockhas been sold, the first daughter is already planning her comeback.

As the APreported, Chinese officials have approved five trademarks Trump first filed in 2016 and 2017. Given Trump’s self-branding as a lifestyle guru, those trademarks covering wedding dresses, sunglasses, brokerage, charitable fundraising, and art valuation make sense.

The fifth trademark covers childcare centers, which is somewhat eerie considering her father’s family separation policy. (Ivanka called the policy “a low point” for the administration.)

Of course, the timing of this approval is certainly suspect, considering President Trump’s ongoing trade negotiations with China. As the AP noted, Chinese officials could leverage Ivanka’s new trademarks against the US in future deals.

    Representatives for Trump did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment but have previously stated the trademarks were filed preemptively to deter copycats from using Trump’s name.

    Amy Hsiao, an expert on Chinese trademark law and partner at the law firm Adsero IP, told The Daily Beast that Trump’s trademarks took two years to get approved because Chinese officials deal with a high volume of applications.

    “Right now, China is No 1 in the world for trademark applications,” Hsiao said. “They’re dealing with around 10 times more applications than the United States is.”

    According to Hsiao, if Trump is indeed planning a revamp of her clothing line, this trademark ensures her two options. She can either produce and sell her goods in China, or only manufacture clothing there for U.S. export.

    Though Trumpwrotethat it was an “honor” to “build this incredible community of Women Who Work” after closing her line in July, the fashion community bid her mid-priced collection more of a good riddance.

    Before the closure,hashtagslike #GrabYourWallet and #BoycottIvanka were trending. Nordstromdroppedthe line in February of 2017, claiming low sales.

    Even before Ivanka Trump, the brand, took a hit through association with Donald Trump, the president, the former model never attained true fashion clout. In 2011, designer Derek Lam sent Ivanka a cease and desist letter,accusingher team of ripping off a pair of black wedge heels. As Derek Lam CEO Jan-Hendrik Schlottmann put it, “We have seen very similar copies before but we have never seen a shoe that perfectly copied [ours].”

    Four years later, aposton the Instagram account of Italian shoe label Aquazzura suggested that Trump was selling a pair of strappy fringe sandals that were almost identical to a $785 version they released first.

    “[Ivanka’s] brand was never what anyone stylish would call fashion”

    — Charles Beckwith

    Even without these copying controversies, the Trump brand felt fairly uninspired. Her line was less of a collection and more of a parade of sterile sheath dresses in varying pastel shades.

    “Her brand was never what anyone stylish would call fashion,” Charles Beckwith, producer and host ofAmerican Fashion Podcast, bluntly put it. “That wasn’t her thing. She traded on her name and sold something that people could already find somewhere else.”

    Though Trump tried obsessively to relate to, as she put them, “Women Who Work,” her father’ssexist commentsandharassment allegationsturned the demographic against her.

    But overseas, Ivanka Trump has a different reputation.

    “She’s quite popular in China,” Hsiao said. “She’s seen as an independent woman.”

    In 2017, an NBC reportrevealedthat there are numerous fan pages for “Goddess Ivanka,” who is viewed as chic, elegant, and diplomatic. Trump has scored points among citizens for embracing Chinese culture through teaching her children Mandarin, or celebrating the traditional New Year at the country’s embassy in D.C.

    In 2017, Trump posted several videos on Instagramshowingher 7-year-old daughter Arabella reciting Chinese poetry and singing a traditional song toPresident Xi Jinpingduring a state visit.  

    Whether or not Trump can leverage her image into another brand is yet to be seen. Until then, we’ll always havethesediscountedMacy’sdresses—nearly half a year after Trump shuttered, they show no signs of selling out.

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