The First Daughter’s jewellery, clothes and handbags have been vanishing from the rails of several stores after a boycott campaign led by credit-card wielding liberals. So if you fancy a floral-print nappy bag or strappy gold heels signed by Ivanka Trump, you can’t find them in Nordstrom any more.
As expected, the President has reacted every bit as classily as expected. “My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @nordstrom! She is a great person – always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!” he whined on Twitter.
Meanwhile, the First Lady has launched a $150m lawsuit against the Daily Mail in the US, arguing that by repeating false allegations about her past – for which the media organization publicly apologized last autumn – it spoiled her chances of building “multimillion-dollar business relationships for a multi-year term during which plaintiff is one of the most photographed women in the world”. At the same time the White House insists the First Lady has absolutely no intention of exploiting her position for private gain.
An AP review of business filings has found that Melania Trump has not stepped away from companies that manage royalties from her name-branded products. She was listed in New York filings as the CEO of Melania Marks Accessories Member Corp, the holding company of Melania Marks Accessories LLC, both of which remain active. The Trumps’ May 2016 financial disclosure filing shows that those companies managed between $15,000 and $50,000 in royalties from her accessories lines.
Under normal circumstances no presidential spouse or daughter should find themselves in the limelight like this. Ivanka and Melania aren’t to blame for what the administration does. But somehow they have made themselves Washington’s version of the Kardashians using the presidential limelight to pedal merchandise.
After the wannabe First Daughter addressed the Republican convention last autumn in a pink dress from her own collection, she promptly tweeted details for anyone keen to “shop Ivanka’s look!” Melania’s official biography on the White House website included references to her jewellery line’s availability on the shopping channel QVC. The family is the brand and it’s impossible to differentiate between the two. If you are your product, you can’t deviate from the brand message.
The essence of brand Trump, isn’t just luxury, it is success. But what if things turn around? What if everything Donald Trump touches turns not to gold but to the opposite? He is a man who deliberately blurs the lines between his business and high office and he could end up being hoist on his own petard. If he continues to trash the American brand he might take his own down with it.
The Trumps are using the White House like the Kardashians used reality TV- to expand their business enterprises.
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