American footwear retailer DSW has ended its partnership with Ivanka Trump’s shoe line, according to a DSW employee who sits on the company’s vendor relations and inventory control team. Racked reports that a May 31 email from this employee to a California shopper states that they are done with the Trump brand.
“The last order placed for this brand was early 2017 and there are no future orders placed, so yes, no longer carrying the line.”
The Ivanka Trump brand denies the severed relationship. In January, 2017, DSW carried 67 styles of Ivanka Trump shoes. Today they are down to two styles, both of which are being sold at a discount.
Ivanka Trump has tried to distance herself from the brand that bears her name. She removed herself from her role at the company in January, 2017, but continues to benefits from its profits.
The Ivanka Trump brand has experienced its share of controversy and drama, some related to the politics of Ivanka’s father, President Donald Trump. Back in 2016, the label, along with Marc Fisher, its licensee, were sued by Aquazarra who charged that the design of Ivanka’s Hettie sandal was identical to its own Wild Thing sandal. The suit was settled privately. The brand also found itself in the spotlight last summer when it was revealed that an investigation of a Chinese factory that makes shoes for the Ivanka Trump brand had uncovered “low pay, excessive overtime, and possible misuse of student labor.”
The undercover activists from China Labor Watch were detained, but were eventually freed after brand president Abigail Klem announced that the brand’s relationship with Marc Fisher had been terminated.
The Ivanka Trump brand has also suffered from the politics of President Trump through things like the “GrabYourWallet” boycott that began after the release of the infamous Access Hollywood tape, and his comments about certain groups of people. Nordstrom dropped the brand and says it did so based on falling sales, not on politics. Macy’s did the same, but cited President Trump’s description of Mexican immigrants as rapists and killers, calling his remarks “inconsistent with Macy’s values.”
As a result of on-again-off-again relationships with retailers, the Ivanka Trump brand has taken steps to go directly to the consumer. They started last September when they began letting consumers purchase handbags directly through their website. Since then, they have made their clothing line available for purchase on their website, and a retail store has opened in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York City.