NEW YORK — Ivanka Trump is about to have a fashion baptism.
Trump is staging her first-ever runway show at Lord & Taylor tonight, marking a milestone in her fast-growing fashion business. She launched jewelry four-and-a-half years ago, and footwear and handbags followed in 2010. Outerwear surfaced last year and, this spring, ready-to-wear debuted. Her products sell at 350 department stores including Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, The Bay and L&T, and also at scores of independent specialty stores and on Zappos.com.
Trump projects $230 million in retail sales in 2012 for all her fashion products and doesn’t include jewelry, which she considers a separate business with a different distribution, in the figure.
“It’s been very quick growth,” she told WWD. “The sell-throughs have really been incredible in some styles — 34-plus percent.
“I will soon be announcing three new licenses with great partners for a fragrance deal and a sunglass deal” and a third deal she declined to disclose. “That one is a little further down the pike.”
She also has a jewelry boutique on Mercer Street in Manhattan, and additional jewelry boutiques in the works, including one in Beijing later this year, though there’s no urgent call to brick-and-mortar. “I have various people approaching me on retail concepts. For now, we just want to execute on these initial plans and plan for a larger extension into retailing later. I am exploring it. Nothing is imminent. I’m not motivated to grow just for the sake of growing. I want to grow strategically. I hope this business survives for many decades. I believe in quality and sharing my aesthetic.”
Though Trump’s not supplying Lord & Taylor exclusively, the store tops her list of “partners” in her fashion adventure. This month, L&T was the scene of a “Celebrity Apprentice” episode where participants frenetically dressed the Fifth Avenue windows with Trump’s collection on live models. Trump was as diplomatic as could be on TV, but thankfully the windows were reimagined by display professionals and since last week have showcased her spring collection. “How cool is that?” she said. “Being a Trump, I’m a huge fan of New York real estate, and having all the windows at the L&T flagship dedicated to my brand is a real honor.”
HMX Group is licensed to produce Ivanka Trump Ready-to-Wear. She works with the HMX design team, and for tonight’s show, she’s partnering with Frédéric Fekkai and Laura Mercier, on the hair and makeup, respectively. Ultimately, she said, she has “final oversight over everything.”
“For me, it’s very important to find the best partners in everything — people I am comfortable working with and willing to work in a collaborative environment,” Trump said. “The product needs to be consistent and needs to be my aesthetic. The most important thing is execution — keeping the brand sustainable and well positioned. There’s a very specific person I design for — a professional, elegant hardworking young woman, typically 25 to 40.”
Her rtw collection comprises 37 looks, grouped in three color stories — black and orange; tan and fuchsia; navy and white — and by trend — refined equestrian, modern geometric patterns and feminine. “The clothes are really sharp, on target and sophisticated, and really the way the American woman wants to dress today,” said Liz Rodbell, executive vice president for Hudson’s Bay Co., which operates L&T and The Bay in Canada. “There’s an ease to the clothes. They’re not flashy at all.”
Rodbell said L&T has a pop-up shop on the fifth floor bringing all of Trump’s fashion products together in one spot. After the show, Trump will be stationed there, handing out signed sketches with any purchase of her products. Ten percent of the sales will be donated to the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up campaign, of which Trump is a founding partner.
For a celebrity, socialite and real estate heiress, Trump is down-to-earth on prices. They’re accessible, at $50 to $225 for the range of denim, T-shirts, suits, dresses and separates. “In terms of a lifestyle brand, I don’t think there are a lot of options that [combine] approachable prices, beautiful fabrics and attention to details,” the 30-year-old Trump observed. Other labels similarly priced can be “overly dowdy, or overly trend-conscious. They lack an element of chic. I wanted something elegant, feminine and glamorous.”
As a Trump, she’s subject to plenty of gossip and criticism, which can be fueled by the fashionistas and bloggers reviewing the collection. “That’s always a possibility,” Trump gracefully acknowledged. “But I will say the reception has been so strong and positive from retailers and customers who are very much supporting it through their purchases.”
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)