It was already difficult to find Ivanka Trump fashion because the brand has lost several retailers in recent years. Now shoppers say they’ll have to search even harder. Trump announced Tuesday that she is abruptly shutting down her 11-year-old brand to focus on her work in Washington.
In response, some women are stocking up on Trump’s wares, either for personal reasons — it’s difficult to find machine-washable work dresses — or political ones.
For Libby Hess, buying Ivanka was a matter of principle. Hess, who is retired, says she doesn’t have much use for professional dresses anymore.
But she was eager to show support for Trump’s line. So on Tuesday afternoon, the 67-year-old logged on to her computer and began searching for Ivanka Trump dresses. When she couldn’t find anything left in her size, she drove to Macy’s, Marshall’s and T.J. Maxx. After three hours of searching, she returned home with black pants and a blouse.
“I’m very supportive of Donald Trump and his businesses,” said Hess, who lives in Littleton, Colo., and used to work as a budget analyst for the federal government.
Politics have also hurt the Ivanka Trump brand. It had struggled to shore up sales in recent months as it became a symbol of President Trump’s polarizing policies, leading major chains such as Nordstrom to stop selling the line altogether.
After Nordstrom’s announcement last year, Hess said, she “deliberately went out and started looking for Ivanka’s stuff.” She found a faux-leather jacket marked down to $44 from $99 at Ross Dress for Less that she says has become one of her favorite pieces.
Now she’s hoping to stock up on more jackets and winter boots — for herself, as well as two sisters who live in California and Florida — before they begin disappearing from shelves. The remaining retailers for the first daughter’s dresses, shoes, handbags and jewelry — including Macy’s, Lord and Taylor and Amazon — will be selling off their stock. (Amazon chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post.)
This isn’t the first time Trump supporters have flocked to buy up the family’s goods: In February, Trump Wine began selling out at Virginia stores after calls from liberal groups to boycott the brand.
For shoppers like Hess, Trump’s line — which offers $25 bracelets and $59 blouses — has become a way to support the family’s businesses without shelling out $540 for a one-night stay at Trump International Hotel Waikiki or $145 for Trump-branded bath towels.
D’Addesi, the political commentator from Philadelphia, says she has purchased more than a dozen pieces by Trump over the years, including dresses, sweaters and high heels that she says are pretty, feminine and comfortable. Her daughters — ages 13, 15 and 17 — are also fans of Trump’s slingback kitten heels.
She recently stayed at the Trump International Hotel in Washington for three nights and made a point of stopping by Ivanka Trump’s store in the lobby of Trump Tower when she was in New York.
“We put our money where our mouth is," said D’Addesi, who appears regularly on conservative television networks such as Fox and One America News and hosts a show on a Fox-affiliated radio station in Philadelphia. “When Nordstrom dropped Ivanka’s line last year, we took that pretty personally. It was an anti-Trump move, and we haven’t shopped there since."
Tacinta Connor, 40, of Fayetteville, N.C., says she hasn’t stopped buying Trump’s purses, even though her views on the president she voted for have soured. She has more than 20 clutches, totes and shoulder bags and says she plans to scour Macy’s and T.J. Maxx for more in the coming days.
“I love the shape of them — they’re timeless and high quality,” Connor said. “Her father may be unethical and filthy, but I try to separate the two.”
Meanwhile, in Austin, Megan Reed, a Republican who calls herself a “marginal” Trump supporter, began buying Ivanka Trump’s dresses, blazers and high heels long before the Trumps were in the White House. Over the years, the 32-year-old says, she’s assembled an office wardrobe of items from the line that are “classic, well-fitting and super comfortable.”
Now she says she’s looking online and at stores such as Macy’s for high heels and dresses in her size. “A good work dress lasts forever,” she said.