Ivanka Trump is closing her namesake fashion brand, the First Daughter announced in a statement Tuesday, one year after stepping down from her role at the company to take on a position at the White House.
"After 17 months in Washington, I do not know when or if I will ever return to the business, but I do know that my focus for the foreseeable future will be the work I am doing here in Washington, so making this decision now is the only fair outcome for my team and partners" she said in a statement.
While apparel sales at the brand, which Ivanka launched in its current form in 2014, soared in the year of the 2016 presidential election, the company also became a lightning rod for critics of her father’s policies, with several anti-Trump groups last year urging shoppers to boycott stores selling Trump-branded goods. Retailers including Nordstrom and Hudson’s Bay stopped selling Ivanka Trump products in the past 18 months, citing their performance, although her wares products are still available on Amazon.
In response, Trump ripped Nordstrom after it announced it was dropping his daughter’s clothing line. “My daughter has been treated so unfairly by Nordstrom,” Trump tweeted in February 2017.
In the first month of Trump’s administration, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway got in hot water after promoting the clothing line during a TV interview. Americans, Conway said during a Fox News appearance, “should buy Ivanka’s stuff. I’m going to give it a free commercial here,” Conway added, “Go buy it today.”
The remarks prompted two lawmakers on the House Oversight Committee to send a letter to the Office of Government Ethics. Conway reportedly later apologized to the president, with the White House saying she had acted "inadvertently" and been "counseled" about the matter.
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CEO Abigail Klem, who took over as president of the brand last spring, informed its 18 employees Tuesday that the company would be shutting down, with Ivanka Trump set to address the staff later in the day.
“When we first started this brand, no one could have predicted the success that we would achieve,” Trump, 36, said in a statement, according to CNN.
“I am beyond grateful for the work of our incredible team who has inspired so many women; each other and myself included. While we will not continue our mission together, I know that each of them will thrive in their next chapter.”
According to the WSJ, Ivanka had contemplated the move in recent months as she grew frustrated by the restrictions she placed on the company, IT Collection LLC, to avoid possible conflicts of interest while serving in the White House.
The Ivanka Trump brand sold moderately priced apparel, shoes, handbags and jewelry, such as a $200 pink handbag and $100 black pumps. The company, whose office sits in Trump Tower, in 2014 launched a “Women Who Work” campaign promoting professional women.