Ivanka Trump Responds on Live TV to the Boycott of Her Fashion Line

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Opponents of Donald Trump have been boycotting Ivanka Trump's $100 million brand. (Photo: Getty)
Opponents of Donald Trump have been boycotting Ivanka Trump’s $100 million brand. (Photo: Getty Images)

Last week, a boycott of the Ivanka Trump Collection line of clothing and accessories started gaining momentum. Shannon Coulter, a San Francisco-based brand and digital strategist, took to Twitter to propose the boycott of Ivanka’s $100 million brand and all retailers that carry her products, using the hashtag #GrabYourWallet.

Shannon, who has 17.9 thousand Twitter followers, told Cosmopolitan at the time that she felt women were willing to give Ivanka “a pass” for the greater part of her father’s presidential campaign but that after Donald Trump’s comments about forcing himself on women and grabbing them inappropriately came to light, much of the voting public had had enough. She told Cosmopolitan, “I think [women] took particular offense, as I did, to the fact that Ivanka tries to make feminism a part of her brand but is standing by, as an official campaign surrogate, a guy who is an alleged serial sexual assaulter of women. The disconnect was too big. And they were ready to speak up about it and flex their consumer power about it.”

Ivanka — who is well-respected among many as an entrepreneur — has finally broken her silence on the boycott. She and her family sat down on Wednesday with Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos, who asked Ivanka, “I wonder what you say to the women who’ve started this #GrabYourWallet campaign on Twitter to boycott your collection. How does that make you feel, and what do you want to say to those women who are doing it?”

“Well, the beauty of America is that people can do what they like,” a soft-spoken and poised Ivanka responded. “But I prefer to talk to the millions — tens of millions — of American women who are inspired by the brand and the message that I’ve created.” The message Ivanka refers to is one of female empowerment, led by a social media campaign she and her brand launched: #WomenWhoWork.

According to her website, the campaign’s mission is “celebrating women who work — at all aspects of their lives.” In videos exclusive to the site, she profiles individuals, including an executive, an entrepreneur, a teacher, and a stay-at-home mom. “Their job titles are just part of who they are,” she says on the site, which includes original content in addition to an e-commerce arm that sells the 34-year-old’s clothing, shoes, handbags, and more.

“My advocacy of women — trying to empower them at all aspects of their life — started long before this presidential campaign did,” Ivanka proclaimed in the video, as her father, brothers, sister, and mother-in-law sat beside her. “I’ve never politicized that message. People who are seeking to politicize it because they may disagree with the politics of my father — there’s nothing I can do to change that.”

A recent survey conducted by brand-engagement and customer-loyalty research consultancy firm Brand Keys revealed that the boycott — and any backlash against the Republican presidential nominee directed at Ivanka — is doing little damage to her brand, according to Women’s Wear Daily (WWD). The publications says that “among 950 female millennial consumers, more than half at 51 percent are still extremely or very willing to keep the Ivanka Trump brand on their shopping lists.” Donald’s brand? Well, that’s a different story.

“The conclusion [of the survey] was that while the Donald Trump brand has been negatively affected, Brand Keys found that damage to the Ivanka Trump brand was “insignificant compared to that of her father’s.” Brands Keys founder and president Robert Passikoff attributes this in part to the fact that Ivanka did not immediately come forth to defend her father’s lewd, sexist comments after the infamous Access Hollywood tape leaked, according to WWD. Passikoff called Ivanka “extraordinarily articulate about issues and generally supportive of her father” and said her comments have been “pretty balanced regarding the campaign overall.”

Passikoff concludes that consumers can “separate the political from the paternal.” So, while Ivanka and her brand remain virtually shatterproof, the same cannot be said for Donald and his self-inflicted damage. In fact, it’s his brand that the country seems to be boycotting.

Passikoff told WWD: “At one point, Mr. Trump was the most powerful ‘Human Brands’ we had ever encountered … that included people like Martha Stewart and Tiger Woods. But recent revelations, and his ongoing political rhetoric, have badly damaged his brand, and history proves that when a brand has been damaged this badly, it generally doesn’t come back.”

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