Ivanka Trump got a shiny new White House office so she can keep advising her father on how to run the country, and the move to Washington, D.C., has been great for her lifestyle brand. Although she's taken a step back from the company she founded a decade ago, the organization continues to expand globally as her family is directly involved in leading the nation. Last week, her namesake brand was approved for Chinese trademarks the same day she met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, The Associated Press reported.
On April 6, Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, attended a state dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan, at Mar-a-Lago, the family's private club in Florida. While it's unclear what the two power couples discussed while sitting next to each other over dinner, that same day Ivanka's brand was given preliminary approval for three trademarks to sell jewelry, bags, and spa services in China.
Since her father became president, the first daughter's company has also applied for new international trademarks in the Philippines and Canada, the AP reported. There were always concerns the Trump family would use the presidency to further its many brands, leading Ivanka and her father to both relinquish power to avoid potential conflicts of interest while in the White House. Ivanka took a leave of absence and moved her company's assets to a trust handled by Kushner's family, while President Trump gave control of his company to his two adult sons. However, The New York Times reports that the first daughter still holds power over her brand.
Despite campaigns to boycott the Ivanka Trump brand to protest her father's discriminatory policies and sexist rhetoric, its sales have actually improved. E-commerce aggregator Lyst found that Ivanka Trump sales increased 557% in February from average sales the previous year, and jumped 346% from January to February alone.
Fashion resale site thredUP found that more people are getting rid of their Ivanka clothes. But overall the brand is still doing incredibly well, especially considering all the backlash and the news that Nordstrom dropped it from its stores "based on performance."
It's impossible to say how much the Ivanka Trump brand is profiting from the family's new position, but it certainly isn't hurting. The timing of the China trademarks and dinner with the Chinese president signifies that the first daughter can't fully untangle her business and political dealings.
Trump and her husband are legally prohibited from making government decisions that will make them money or accepting presents from foreign states. But there still are a lot of gray areas, as a first family has never had such a huge business empire.
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