Ivanka Trump and Kate Hudson shared insights Thursday with more than 250 leaders in business, politics, health, technology, media, philanthropy, fashion and entertainment at the 2016 Forbes Women’s Summit Thursday at Pier Sixty in New York.
The 34-year-old founder of The Ivanka Trump Collection and executive vice president of acquisitions and development at the Trump Organization, chatted with Gayle King, anchor of CBS News, and politics wasn’t off the table.
“I’ve been incredibly impressed by his [Donald Trump’s] instinct and his leadership skills that have been displayed on a much larger platform,” said Trump, who’s also the mother of three children under four-and-a-half and was dressed head-to-toe in her namesake brand. Asked whether she ever expected that her father would be the presumptive Republican nominee, Trump replied, “I wouldn’t have been surprised….When he sets his mind about something, he achieves great things.” She was asked how she handles the criticism and replied, “On a human level, it can be challenging. Often the criticism is wrong. I’m pretty thick-skinned.”
King then asked Trump whether her father plays nicely with others, and she said that when people are swinging punches, he’s a counterpuncher. “My father’s built an enormous business. You can’t function in business if you can’t get along with people,” she said. Describing his top skills as a dealmaker and negotiator, Trump noted, “It’s been a very interesting campaign season. There’s tremendously high energy and people want change. It’s been a rather tough campaign season.
“I think America is really seeing my father…he’s honest, with him, what you see is what you get, even if you don’t like him. He’s elevated and he’s created a dialogue around the issues, it’s a powerful thing,” she added.
As for her own business skills and what it takes to be a good boss, Trump said you want people who buy into your mission. Her clothing and handbags seek to inspire and empower young women. “The empowering and inspiring part gets me excited. You have to have a bold vision and work really hard. I don’t know anyone who’s successful who cuts corners….People who create the most important companies really love it,” said Trump.
Hudson, 37, actress, author and entrepreneur, was interviewed by Amy Robach, news anchor for “Good Morning America.” Hudson said her partners came to her and asked her if she wanted to formulate an idea with them for an ath-leisure company. “I always wanted to get into fashion,” said Hudson, and not necessarily ath-leisure, but Fabletics’ collection really represented her. “I felt there was a hole in the market for affordable athletic wear and it’s had this tremendous success the last two years.”
Hudson said she didn’t grow up in the spotlight — although there were some moments — and was raised in Colorado. She said she grew up in a “pretty normal family” with three brothers and developed a “tough skin.”
“In Hollywood, everyone wants to build you up and tear you down,” she said. She said growing up, she always saw her mother working hard. “My mother had a driver who came to the house and I hated it. He would take my mother away. But what it taught me was how hard she worked to create opportunities for other women,” she said, noting that her mother, Goldie Hawn, was the first female actress to produce her own film. “She was a trailblazer in Hollywood,” said Hudson.
Now that ath-leisure is an official word in the dictionary, Hudson said that “ath-leisure” has been her life forever, and now they’ve given it a name. “I am a frustrated athlete,” she said. “The success has been shocking and amazing and it came so fast.”