Tiffany Trump is the kind of Instagram “influencer” whose massive social media following of 958,000 people and high-profile platform (“first daughter” is a pretty exclusive title) makes designers and companies looking for product placements drool.
So when the 24-year-old Georgetown Law student posted an Instagram story Tuesday night showing an apparent gift of a luxury nail-polish set from manicurist-to-the-stars Deborah Lippmann, it was no doubt a coup for the beauty brand. “Thanks, Debbie!” Tiffany Trump wrote in a fancy font across a photo of dozens of bottles of polish. She tagged @deborahlippmann alongside a heart emoji.
Such promotions are common in Hollywood, where A-list actresses regularly thank Lippmann by name from red carpets with a waggle of their well-manicured digits, and elsewhere on Instagram, where model-like women with huge followings tag designers who send them freebies in exchange for the exposure.
But they’re hardly typical in Washington, where such transactions just aren’t done.
Ethics expert Don Fox, who worked in the Office of Government Ethics during the Bush and Obama administrations, notes that because she’s an adult and a private citizen, the young Trump isn’t technically bound by gift rules the way her father is — or even the way her half-sister, White House adviser Ivanka Trump, is. It’s more about appearances, though. “The standards are ones of decorum, not law,” he says. And precedent, too. “Can you imagine the reaction if the Obama daughters had done this, or one of the Bush 43 daughters?” Fox wondered.
And, hey, it’s just a little nail varnish, right? Well, this is no drugstore stuff. A single bottle retails for about $20, and Trump’s stash easily could be worth hundreds of dollars.
A spokeswoman for the first daughter did not respond to a request for comment. But it isn’t the first time the law student’s status has drawn the attention of companies dying to dress her. British designer Aruna Seth sent her head of marketing on a red-eye flight from London to Washington to hand-deliver an $800 pair of boots to Trump just in time for her father’s inauguration (the company declined to say whether it paid for the trip or comped the shoes). And designer Anne Bowen scored when Trump wore one of her gowns to a pre-inaugural dinner — and earned a shout-out on Trump’s Instagram page. “Thank you @anne_bowen,” she wrote on a photo posted from Blair House.
Bowen told Yahoo News that although many designers have said they wouldn’t want the first lady in their frocks because of the association with a polarizing president, the same isn’t true for the mostly apolitical young Trump: “Everyone is clamoring to dress Tiffany,” she said.