Abigail Klem has joined the Ivanka Trump brand as chief merchandising officer, as well as licensing and brand director.
This story first appeared in the June 25, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
In Klem’s new role, she will be responsible for growing the brand’s domestic wholesale business and entering international markets, as well as identifying and evaluating potential licensing partners and new business opportunities.
Ivanka Trump said, “The company has experienced substantial growth in the past year and Abigail will be instrumental to our continued domestic and international expansion. Abigail has an acute understanding of product and partnerships and will seamlessly integrate merchandising, design, product development, marketing and sales for my brand.”
Trump added that her brand continues to build its corporate infrastructure to support growth objectives, while keeping in mind creative expansion.
Klem joins the Ivanka Trump brand after 10 years at Diane von Furstenberg, where she was executive vice president of merchandising. In that role, she led that company’s global efforts for all ready-to-wear categories. Before that, she was vice president of licensing for DVF. Klem began her tenure at DVF in sales. Prior to DVF, Klem was a corporate entertainment attorney.
Klem said, “I look forward to developing a team and leveraging all of my skills from merchandising to licensing to sales.”
The Ivanka Trump brand is available in multiple categories, including footwear, handbags, outerwear, jewelry, apparel, sunglasses, fragrances and home. Ivanka Trump-branded scarves, cold weather accessories and belts, as well as home, will launch in the first quarter of 2014. Trump began her company in 2007 as a fine jewelry collection. It had a soft launch in 2010 in footwear, handbags and outerwear. The lines are carried in major retail doors such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, Dillard’s and Piperlime, and on Zappos.com.
According to a market source with familiarity with the brand’s operations, annual sales are estimated to be north of $250 million at retail.
In December, the company entered into a licensing agreement with G-III Apparel Group Ltd. for sportswear, dresses, suits, suit separates, sleepwear, activewear, jeanswear and intimates. The collection will begin distribution to department stores and better specialty stores in the U.S., Canada and Mexico beginning in fall 2013.