NEW YORK — While admitting that he’s far more familiar with the front row of fashion shows than standing on the catwalk, Donald Trump took a stab at the latter Wednesday night at Macy’s Herald Square.
The dapper developer, with the help of GQ magazine, gathered together a large chunk of his licensed products — Phillips-Van Heusen dress shirts, Marcraft suits, Vendôme cufflinks and Randa neckwear among them — spritzed male models with his Estée Lauder-produced Donald Trump scent and sent it all down a runway, which was erected in the men’s department on the third floor of the store.
More than 500 people looked on — including Terry Lundgren, Federated’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, who pointed out that he was wearing a Trump tie. Also in the audience were Phillips-Van Heusen’s Bruce Klatsky and Mark Weber; Lauder’s Robin Mason and the Marcraft Group’s Gary Brody.
Trump kept up a lively banter as he narrated the show with all the gusto of a carnival barker, making sure to lavishly praise each of the products. “Show those cufflinks!” he exhorted one model. The catwalk crew included season two’s “Apprentice” winner, Kelly Perdew, and season-one contestant Ereka Vetrini — coincidentally, a former Lauder employee who is now on “The Tony Danza Show.” Vetrini was clad in Donna Karan, since Trump doesn’t yet have a women’s clothing line. “I’d really like to do one, though,” he said after the show.
Never one to miss an opportunity to make a plug, The Donald proudly pointed out that his dress shirts are reporting a 28 percent sell-through, and his suits are enjoying a 21 percent sell-through — and that’s at full retail. “They’re practically the only things that aren’t on sale,” he cackled. Not bad for a guy who fully admits that he had no idea what “sell-through” meant a few years ago.
Speaking of selling, Trump didn’t appear to be worried that the coming Federated-May merger would slash the number of outlets for his licensed products. Calling Lundgren “a guy who has the ability to see into the future and see where the world is going,” Trump said of the merger: “It’s a great deal — and one where the company doing the buying actually went up in value after the announcement. As soon as I heard about it, I went and bought more Federated stock.”
This story first appeared in the March 18, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.