After all the fuss that surrounded its first public outing, it transpires that no one was very interested in wearing Ivanka Trump’s “favourite bangle.” At least, not when it came to parting with $10,800 for the diamond bracelet worn by the US president’s second child and unofficial political aide on primetime television last November. Last week, it was announced by the brand’s new president Abigail Klem (who stepped into the role in January) that the aspirational, fine-jewellery collection
of which this bracelet was a prized example will henceforward be folded into the main line and made more accessible. In other words, Ivanka Trump is going cheap.
The Ivanka Trump brand has many admirers. Kellyanne Conway, counsellor to the president, has shown a passion for her boss’s daughter’s “wonderful” brand so intense that she has been accused of violating federal ethics laws in order to encourage folks to “go and buy her stuff”. But few folks, it seems, are prepared to part with the cost of a small car to get the look.
It’s tempting to read this as yet another woe in the catalogue of ills that have befallen the brand since President Donald Trump’s ascension to power. In January, it was removed from the US department store Nordstrom. It was then dropped by Neiman Marcus, which cited poor sales in its decision to remove it from its website.
In the wake of dwindling consumer interest and a social media campaign, #grabherwallet, encouraging shoppers to boycott stores carrying Trump-related products, the brand seemed to have taken on the irremediable whiff of toxicity. This toxicity has been further compounded by California retailer Modern Appealing Clothing this week, which has gone to court to claim that the brand’s increased publicity in recent months has given Ivanka Trump an unfair advantage over other retail competitors in the state of California. The family-owned business is seeking a permanent injunction barring Ivanka Trump goods from sale in California.
So, is brand Ivanka Trump a bust? Not likely, you metropolitan, liberal, latte-drinking snowflakes. Ivankanomics are not so simple as that. Yes, the east coast metropolitan elites have been offloading their striped cotton shirt-dresses, Hopewell Mini Chain Crossbody bags and Karita Lace-Up Block-Heel Sandals by the sackful. But, elsewhere, the brand is booming.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, ecommerce aggregator Lyst reported that sales of Ivanka Trump increased 219 per cent in one day in early February, and have surged in the past six months. In particular, the brand’s inventory is skyrocketing on second-hand resale sites such as ThredUP, where demand for Ivanka Trump-branded products in conservative cities such as Houston in Texas is massively outstripping the rate at which more liberal-minded coastal-dwelling urbanites are purging themselves of them. Just as the geopolitical spread among Trump’s support is split between urban and rural, coastal and central, so, unsurprisingly, is interest in his daughter’s clothes and bangles.
Perhaps more interesting, however, is the development regarding pricing. Many of the Ivanka Trump products are simply too expensive for the sort of people who might want to buy them.
It’s all a question of aspiration. The business of fashion, accessories and especially jewellery is built on the basis, like those of cars and houses, that they are imbued with various life-enhancing qualities. A certain brand’s clothing will make you seem stronger, chicer and more sophisticated. An accessory will elevate you among your peers. By buying into a brand, so the retail culture has it, we buy into a society of similarly-minded sophisticates who share our values and wallet size.
Currently, there’s a trend for new labels launching themselves into the marketplace to pitch themselves at the highest echelons of luxury, with starting prices reaching into the hundreds, and big-ticket items costing several thousands. At the same time, luxury labels are increasingly working with bigger, more mainstream companies to produce lines that might make them accessible to more ordinary folk.
Hence, fans of Victoria Beckham who may not be able to afford the designer’s asymmetric satin twill floral wrap-dress, which retails for ￡1,995 in her Mayfair store in London, are now able to buy a black floral satin dress for the far more accessible price of $40 from the range she has just debuted for the American retailer Target. Most brands recognise that their survival depends on partnering with high-street retailers in collaborations that will bounce them into a broader market. (Victoria Beckham’s recent collaboration with Estée Lauder on a make-up collection is another great example of how to expand one’s entry-level offering — see also Alexander Wang’s team-up with Adidas, and Comme des Gar?ons’ AW17 Nikes.)
Brand Ivanka Trump is now stuck in the accessible wilderness. She can jangle that $10,000 bangle as much as she wants, but it seems the only people who aspire to her brand of gilt-lacquered, super-shiny luxury are the ones who can’t afford it.
在美国，几乎没人对佩戴伊万卡?特朗普(Ivanka Trump)“最喜爱的手镯”表现出很大兴趣，虽然它首次公开亮相时就引发热议，至少，在知道了伊万卡去年11月黄金时段电视节目上佩戴的这款钻石手镯要价10,800美元后，人们失去了热情。伊万卡是现任美国总统的第二个孩子及其非官方政务助理。不久前，其同名品牌的新任总裁阿比盖尔?克兰姆（Abigail Klem，她自今年1月起开始担任该职务）宣布，以这款手镯为主打产品的梦幻高端珠宝系列今后将融入其主流产品线，并面向更广大的消费群体。换句话说，伊万卡?特朗普品牌开始放低身段走低价路线。
今年1月，该品牌被美国百货公司诺思通(Nordstrom)撤货下架。此后该品牌又遭百货公司内曼?马库斯 (Neiman Marcus)抛弃，后者解释称，将该品牌从其电商网站下架是因为销售数字惨淡。
一方面消费者兴趣下降，一方面又有社交媒体运动“抢走她的钱包(#grabherwallet)”鼓励消费者抵制销售伊万卡?特朗普相关产品的百货商店，该品牌似乎沾上了挥之不去的有毒气息。最近这种有毒氛围进一步加剧，因加州零售商Modern Appealing Clothing向法院提起诉讼，指控伊万卡?特朗普品牌近几个月来的大力宣传，使得其在加州相对于其他零售业对手拥有了不公平的竞争优势。这家家族所有制企业希望法庭颁布永久性禁令，禁止伊万卡?特朗普品牌产品在加州销售。
那么，伊万卡?特朗普品牌是否面临倒闭呢？这种可能性并不大，生活在大城市、喝着拿铁的自由主义小清新们又想错了。伊万卡经济学并非如此简单。确实，东海岸的大城市精英们已经在大袋大袋地抛弃该品牌的棉质条纹衬衫裙、霍普韦尔迷你链条斜挎包(Hopewell Mini Chain Crossbody bag)以及卡丽塔系带坡跟凉鞋(Karita Lace-Up Block-Heel Sandal)。但在其他地区，该品牌形势大好。
根据《好莱坞报道》(The Hollywood Reporter)，电商平台Lyst表示伊万卡?特朗普品牌的销售额在2月初的一天增幅高达219%，并且在过去六个月中一直保持迅猛增长势头。该品牌在ThredUP等二手衣物寄售网站上的存货数量迅速膨胀，而德克萨斯州休斯敦等保守城市地区对伊万卡?特朗普品牌产品的需求远远超过了沿海地区自由派城市居民抛弃该品牌的速度。正如唐纳德?特朗普的支持率在城市与农村、沿海与中部地区存在巨大地域差异一样，对他女儿服饰产品的热情也存在地区差异也不足为奇。
因此，维多利亚?贝克汉姆(Victoria Beckham)的粉丝中或许有人买不起这位设计师的不对称缎面斜纹印花裹身裙，这款裙子在她位于伦敦梅费尔(Mayfair)的店铺中售价高达1995英镑，但他们可以买得起她不久前在美国零售商Target首次推出的服装系列中的一款黑色印花缎面裙，这款售价40美元的裙子显然更加平易近人。绝大多数品牌都意识到，他们的生存取决于与高街零售商结成伙伴展开合作，这能将他们推向更加广阔的市场。（维多利亚?贝克汉姆近期与雅诗兰黛(Estée Lauder)合作的一个化妆品系列为如何拓展一个品牌的入门级产品提供了又一个优质案例——此外还可以参考亚历山大?王(Alexander Wang)与阿迪达斯(Adidas)的合作以及川保久玲(Comme des Gar?ons)与耐克(Nike)合作的2017年秋冬系列。）