With no political history, but a passion for social causes, Ivanka Trump has catapulted her career from lifestyle brand entrepreneur to special assistant to the President of the United States, her father, Donald Trump.
It’s an appointment she announced through a White House statement last month, and again, on Wednesday, when she took to “CBS This Morning” in her first interview since taking the role. Speaking to Gayle King, she asserted that she has relinquished her duties behind Brand Ivanka, adding that she will “be an asset to the administration… help my father and, ultimately, the country.”
And she did it with bright green eyes. Her natural eye color is brown.
“When someone alters their appearance — when they are engaging in a new position, it signifies that they want to be seen in a different way,” psychologist Zelana Montminy, Ph.D., shared with Footwear News in an interview. “They are trying to shift the perception of the public — they are trying to say, for example, ‘I was a businesswoman, now I’m a political figure.’”
Montminy specializes in positive psychology, and she is the author of “21 Days to Resilience: How to Transcend the Daily Grind, Deal with the Tough Stuff and Discover Your Strongest Self,” a self-improvement lifestyle book, available on Amazon.com.
Days before Ivanka’s big sit-down with King, she added a lighter blond color to her hair. With the new peepers and glossy roots, it’s not quite an extreme makeover, but the message it conveys can be self-empowering.
“It’s like holding up a sign,” Montminy explained. “Now, green contacts seem like a simple thing, but to her, it’s a subconscious way of saying, ‘look at me differently.’ Also, it’s for herself, so when you do something like that — like dying your hair or changing your eye color — it is a shift. A physical change is a queue or signal to the outer world or to yourself that things are different about you.”
Ahead of her foray into politics, she did experiment occasionally with a different eye color in the past.
Trump — whose namesake label includes shoes, apparel, jewelry and handbag categories — has worn her bright green eye color enhancements during other high-profile engagements, including on Tuesday at the White House when she participated with her father in a town hall meeting on the American business climate.
On a large stage — the Republican National Convention last year — as her father’s political surrogate, she opted for green eyes, too.
Esquire noted in a story: “At the early sound check, she showed up with brown eyes and a red dress. But that night, when she introduced her father as the nominee to an audience of 35 million, she was wearing her own ‘Ivanka Trump’ branded pink sheath and noticeably lighter-colored eyes.”
After President Trump won the election, Ivanka formally separated from running her brand. She often wears her line at political functions, though she is not a part of its operations. (Marc Fisher Footwear continues to hold the footwear license for the brand.)
“I have no involvement with any of that,” Ivanka told King. “I felt like proximity to my father and to the White House and — with my husband taking such an influential role in the administration, I didn’t wanna also be running a business. So I put it into trust. I have independent trustees. I have no involvement in its management, in this oversight and its strategic decision making.”
The company is placed in a trust run by her husband Jared Kushner’s family, she confirmed on CBS.
“If my interest was making money or growing my business, I would do far better to completely disengage and do exactly that,” she added.
Ivanka is her brand’s most visible promoter, and her image aligns with its aspirational lifestyle narrative.
On Thursday, she stepped out of Air Force One wearing her “Carra” pumps with her children on the way to Mar-a-Lago, President Trump’s private luxury resort and club in Palm Beach, Fla.
She was styled in her go-to silhouette — high hemlines and high heels. Ivanka’s style over the years has been a mix of her collections teamed with other luxury brands. That’s probably not going to change, and that’s also another message she could be sending to the public, Montminy explained.
“I think she’s trying to signal the exact opposite — that you don’t have to blend in and you can be who you are,” Montminy said.