Instead of another run-of-the-mill Saturday morning finishing her law school applications or relaxing at home, First Daughter Tiffany Trump grabbed a front row seat with her mother Marla Maples at Taoray Wang’s show.
Once the lights went down, a 10-person security team dispersed but kept a close watch. Many in the Skylight Clarkson Square crowd seemed to do the same, recording every last gesture, whisper and reaction shared between the guests of the hour. Afterward backstage, Trump stood tall in an off-white V-neck dress and two-toned coat, unfazed by all the iPhone attention. “I’m here to support Tao and that comes with the territory. I thought the collection was spectacular, the way she tailors so well and flows in fabrics,” she said.
Like her siblings, Trump is a die-hard New Yorker. “The energy of the city makes it an amazing place. I think people are very motivated. I like being around people who continue to push themselves further. No one slacks in New York, and I like that,” she said with a laugh. But navigating the city as a daughter of the Commander in Chief affects the seas, so to speak. “A lot continues to change but I’m ready for it,” she said.
Maples added, “We couldn’t wait for Tiffany to finish up high school in California and make it back, right sweetheart? We knew that New York would be the place that you can inspire and aspire and you can live the dream out here in the city. We love it.”
At 23, Trump is up for more studying, “I think the way you learn to problem solve and kind of think on-the-go is very important for whatever career you go into. Susan [Shin, the publicist] actually studied law [intellectual property as it turned out, practicing for 10 years and teaching at NYU].”
The University of Pennsylvania alum who was reportedly named after the Fifth Avenue jeweler Tiffany & Co. said, “But I think it’s an important skill to have. Education is something that can never be taken away from you so I decided to pursue it further. I’m in the application process, so we’ll see where I end up. I have a list, but you never know what will happen. I’m very interested in intellectual property law and privacy law. Then, maybe some real estate law I’m going to add too.”
While there are “a lot of designers out there,” Trump, who wore a white Taoray Wang double-breasted coat to her father’s inaugural, said she is partial to “the classic look, chic, simple — sometimes adding a little bit of an edge, a little girly influence or something more trendy. My aesthetic kind of changes. Tao really hits it right on point. She has lace, leather, perfectly tailored jackets. I love it,” she said.
Wearing an off-the-shoulder wool jumpsuit, Maples, who was married to Donald Trump from 1993 to 1999, said she doesn’t dole out fashion advice. “I just offer my daughter love and support. This morning when I saw this [gesturing towards the pale pink interior of her Taoray Wang coat], I said, ‘She’s still got her baby pink on.’ That made me feel happy. That was her favorite color growing up. Tao really knows how to celebrate Tiffany’s uniqueness in a way that she really loves to see herself perceived. It’s beautiful.”
Unwieldy as blending intelligence, strength and femininity can be for women, Trump said,”I think it’s all about presence. You have to be who you are and then hopefully that message conveys itself.”
Focused on creating clothes for empowered, intelligent, elegant women, Wang also supports female entrepreneurs. Shin tipped Trump off to the collection last season, telling her, “‘This designer is really worth coming to.’ So I took a break from studying and came to the show last year,” Tiffany said.
Shopping wasn’t something either wanted to talk about.”I feel like you study all the time,” Maples said. “Only when we have to, right?”
Trump said she read “the other day” “Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything” by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, but is more inclined to listen to audio books. One book she is eager to get to is “Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle” from authors Dan Señor and Saul Singer. That title was recommended by her boyfriend Ross Mechanic, who stood by smiling a few feet away. As for whether Trump sees a start-up in her future, she said, “I think I’m going to go to law school and then we’ll see what happens.”
Maples said her daughter remains her number-one priority. “Now she’s a woman, so it’s time for her mom to get back to work. It’s going to be an exciting year,” she added, although she politely declined to elaborate.
Wang said of her connection with Trump is as a muse of sorts. “As a brand, I would always like to mix diversity and also bring differences together. I believe that global female leaders will appreciate this idea. We’re targeting female leaders in law, finance, government and everything,” the designer said. “I like to think of New York as a city with all this openness that is open to everybody.”