It’s been a long and tumultuous journey for the eponymous clothing line founded by Ivanka Trump, first daughter and newly-appointed assistant to the President. Since Donald Trump became president, her line has been dropped from major stores, sued by competitors, and more seriously, it's been the cause of an investigation after Kellyanne Conway may have promoted it illegally. The latest controversy, however, might be the most glaring form of ethical boundary crossing.
According to AP, on the same day that Ivanka and her husband and Senior Advisor to the President, Jared Kushner, had dinner with the Chinese President and his wife, her brand won provisional approval for three new trademarks to sell jewelry, clothing, bags and spa services in China.
While Ivanka has said that she is distancing herself from the brand, the timing of the approval will likely not be seen by the public as mere coincidence. According to AP the trademarks are a potential ethical issue because "they are granted by foreign states and confer the monopoly right to sell branded product in a particular country." Also, the report noted that since Ivanka met with the Chinese government, 3.4 tons of her handbags, wallets and blouses have been exported from the U.S. to Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Whether Ivanka can truly divorce her new role in politics from her brand remains to be seen. With this latest news, a true separation seems less and less likely.
This story originally appeared on Teen Vogue.
More from Teen Vogue: