A number of prominent retailers have dropped Ivanka Trump’s clothing line. Could this switch be the result of that public backlash?
A number of prominent retailers – including Nordstrom — have dropped Ivanka Trump’s clothing line after her father became POTUS, and while those businesses refuse to say whether or not the decision was politically motivated, boycott movements such as #GrabYourWallet have driven some shoppers to protest by refusing to purchase products from retailers carrying anything from the Trump family brand.
Considering the drama surrounding Ivanka’s company, it seems rather curious that in nearly 300 Stein Mart stores across the United States, some products from the First LadyDaughter’s clothing line have been relabeled as “Adrienne Vittadini Studio.”
According to a Stein Mart insider, Ivanka Trump’s brand has been getting quite a bit of negative feedback from customers, but according to the department store chain’s chief executive D. Hunt Hawkins the secret label swap isn’t related to politics.
It should be noted that it’s perfectly legal to swap labels, but what’s even more curious, Ivanka and her organization allegedly had no clue this secret swap was going on. G-III, the licensed company which owns the rights to manufacture and distribute Ivanka’s line, and Stein Mart admit to being fully involved in the deceptive marketing ploy.
In a statement to Business of Fashion (BoF), a representative for G-III said:
“G-III accepts responsibility for resolving this issue, which occurred without the knowledge or consent of the Ivanka Trump organisation. G-III has already begun to take corrective actions, including facilitating the immediate removal of any mistakenly labelled merchandise from its customer. The Ivanka Trump brand continues to grow and remains very strong.”
Professor of fashion law at Fordham Law School and founder of the Fashion Law Institute, Susan Scafidi said, “If the original label [is replaced] with that of a third party unaware of the substitution, the [responsible party] would be liable to the third party. All of this derives historically from the law of fraud.”
Scafidi pointed out that label swapping may be legal, but the question is whether or not it’s ethical, “Of course, the fact that a clothing retailer can legally relabel with certain restrictions doesn’t mean that it should, especially if label-conscious consumers are likely to be outraged by the switch. Fashion may be trending toward modesty, but when it comes to labels, customers are demanding more transparency than ever.”