Trump’s businesses are mentioned virtually every time she is, and those mentions came fast and furious over the past year she helped her father become president. There were also headlines over boycotts of Trump products, stores that dropped her lines, accusations of copying designs, retweets from the official White House Twitter account and the hypocrisy of importing goods made in China as her father insisted he’d rebuild the country with American labor.
It all combined for a hefty increase in sales in 2016.
G-III Apparel Group, Ltd., which licenses Trump’s clothing collection (her shoe line is licensed through Marc Fisher), reported a “$17.9 million increase in net sales of Ivanka Trump licensed products” for the year ending January 31. The company credits the brand with helping bring up its gross profits as a whole, according to a new annual report released April 3.
There were observed drops in sales over the period ― at Nordstrom, for example ― and while sales of G-III-licensed merchandise continued to increase, they did so at a significantly slower pace. Forbes reported the brand did $100 million in revenue with G-III during the 2015 fiscal year, when it saw net sales increase by $24.9 million over 2014.
Trump’s brand declined to comment, and G-III did not return a request for comment by the time of publication. A spokesperson did tell Refinery 29 off-record Monday that “while Ivanka Trump might have been one of its faster growing brands last year, it is not one of the larger brands that the company operates.” The Calvin Klein label, for example, saw twice as much growth for G-III, garnering an increase in sales of $43.7 million.
The news adds fuel to the fire engulfing the Trump family’s numerous conflicts of interest. While Trump announced she was stepping down from her company in January and prohibited the brand from using her likeness in March, she still receives financial reports and profits from the company, even after becoming an official White House employee. An ethics expert told The Huffington Post last month that the only way Trump can truly avoid a conflict of interest is to sell the company or decline a job in the White House.
The only things that seem certain is that Trump’s brand, like her position in the White House, will continue to be a point of contention during her father’s presidency ― and that any publicity really is good publicity.