Nearly a year after several department stores dropped Ivanka Trump’s label, the first daughter has found a new home for her fashion brand — and it is owned by her dear old dad.
At 4pm on Thursday, the first daughter opened a new Ivanka Trump store in Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York City, ostensibly in time to cater to holiday shoppers and the tourist rush near Rockefeller Center during Christmas time.
However far from offering a lavish set-up, photos taken at the opening on Thursday reveal a rather small brick-and-mortar set-up, with five long shelves displaying only bags and a few accessories — and a rather tepid reception, with just a handful of customers finding their way through the doors in its first hour.
Thanks, pop! Ivanka Trump opened a new store in Trump Tower in New York City today
Last minute prep: Staff were still organizing things in the store right up until its 4 p.m. opening
Tiny: The space only sells bags and a handful of other accessories, and is about 20 feet long by three feet deep
Just some bits: The store also has a few drawers of additional stock should any items sell out
The opening of a store in the lobby of Trump Tower was actually first written about in August, when a Politico reporter saw the future store space covered in signage that promised a Fall 2017 opening.
However the space has now been revealed in full, albeit a month or so late, with glass doors set into the lobby’s marble walls.
Despite delayed the proposed fall opening, things still seemed slightly hectic ahead of the official launch; by mid-afternoon on Thursday, staff were still setting up, with employees pulling stock out of boxes to put on the shelves in preparation for the late afternoon opening.
Inside, the space is about 20 feet long by three feet deep, with five shelves set into a pink wall to display bags and a few pieces of jewelry ranging from $25 to $150. The space is accented with gold and there is a full-length mirror at one end and a register at the other. It’s scented with the shop’s own fragrance.
At 4 p.m., staffers finally opened the glass doors to the public for a soft open — though there was no one lining up outside, despite the lobby of Trump Tower being packed with tourists.
Within ten minutes, though, three customers had found the place, and one bought something about 20 minutes after the opening.
Where are the shoppers? The area in front of the store was completely empty even as the doors swung open at 4 p.m.
Girly: Leather goods are on display under pink lighting
Spending: Despite no crowd for the opening, a few tourists found their way in and one even bought something less than a half hour after opening
Short: Though most of the stock is leather goods like bags and wallets, there are a few piece of jewelry
Coming soon… Signage for the store was first revealed back in August
Not so curious: Only a few people stopped to see what was going on while the staff set up
Minimal: The store is pink and has a single register and a full-length mirror
In trouble? Ivanka seems to have been looking for a new outlet after several department stores dropped her brand in February
An ‘Ivanka Trump store’ placard has also been added to a lobby directory that includes signs for the Trump Store, Trump Cafe, Trump Grill, Trump Bar, and Starbucks (not Trump Coffee).
Ivanka’s fashion label struggled to find footing earlier this year when several retailers announced that they would no longer carry it in stores or online.
Nordstrom, one of the leading stores to give her the axe, insisted it was not a political decision but rather one based on sales.
‘In this case, based on the brand’s performance, we’ve decided not to buy it for this season,’ the company said in a statement.
Soon after, luxury retailer Neiman Marcus announced that it was following suit, as did Belk, Shoes.com, and ShopStyle.
The announcements sparked some controversy, with Trump critics applauded the stores for taking a stand and Trump supporters calling for boycotts.
Bye: Stock of her accessories ad clothing were added to clearance racks and ripped form Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus locations
Old home: From 2011 to 2015, Ivanka had a store in Soho that was two stories tall and decorated with leather furniture and chandeliers
Kellyanne Conway came under major criticism from members of both parties for telling TV viewers to ‘go buy Ivanka’s stuff’ — a comment that many experts said violated ethics rules.
It’s unknown how much of a hit Ivanka Trump sales may have taken since then, but the first daughter seems to have found a new way to get her wares in the hands of supportive shoppers, taking advantage of her father’s real estate holdings.
This isn’t the first Ivanka Trump store, though it is the only one still standing. Her first flagship location, for Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry, was on Madison Avenue. It was followed by a larger shop on Mercer Street in SoHo that opened in 2011 but abruptly closed down in 2015 due to unknown circumstances.
The new Trump Tower store is certainly smaller than her Soho shop, which was two stories high and included clothing, shoes, handbags, and jewelry.
Decor from the shutter shop included included a Schonbek chandelier, stingray display cases, and white leather furniture, as well as coffee table books, candy dishes, textured walls, and customer staircases.
‘There’s still a luxury sensibility, but not to the point of being off-putting,’ she told The Cut at the time. ‘So often, jewelry retailers in the luxury realm have used intimidation to their advantage.’
The shop also had something called Champagne Saturdays.