Get ready for President Reality Star — and all the glitz and glam that moniker suggests. Where President Reagan was very much the era of the presidency and the Hollywood actor, Trump is poised to be the champion of the reality star — none more so than himself. Meetings with Kanye West, Anna Wintour, Ray Lewis and Jim Brown have detracted from scandals and policy developing, and his penchant for social media rivals the most prolific of teens. Until it was canceled following backlash, the auctioning off of a coffee date with Ivanka, and a hunting expedition with Eric and Donald Jr. were the latest in a string of headline-drawing appeals to the high-minded’s desire to get a word in with the Trump family — and none are viewed as powerfully as I.T.
“Republican administrations tend to place a little more emphasis on society and their role in helping philanthropy and our country, and that’s a good thing,” New York socialite and philanthropist Jean Shafiroff says. “Now with the new president coming in, Donald Trump, maybe his children will be the rebirth of a new society.”
And just what shape will this new society take? With Melania staying behind in New York to care for young Barron, I.T. is poised to become the social bee of D.C. She and her husband, Jared Kushner, are reportedly house-hunting in the capital’s glitziest neighborhoods, and looking for an Orthodox synagogue to attend. As their political appointments remain unsolved, their transition to Washington’s social scene — what there is left of it, after eight years of being ignored by the Obamas — seems certain. Will they bring a new kind of glitz to the White House?
The president-elect, a onetime front-row fixture at New York Fashion Week, will likely have to sit out collections, but Melania and Ivanka are sure to be the most eagerly sought-after social “get” in town. Similarly, while Trump is expected to continue frequenting stodgy favorites like 21 Club and Jean-Georges in the Trump International Hotel & Tower New York, I.T. and Jared might follow in the Obamas’ footsteps in trying out New York’s hottest restaurant openings: the pair were seen dining at new Williamsburg eatery Lilia before the holidays.
Dennis Basso, designer to the uptown fur-loving social elite, has been dressing the Trump family since the Ivana days — the first Mrs. Trump was at his debut show. He feels that the women in the family will bring a unique brand of glamour to the White House. “I think that all of the Trump women are very pretty, they have beautiful figures, and they wear clothes very well,” Basso says. “I think there will clearly be a fashion addition — there is Mrs. Melania Trump, there’s Ivanka Trump, and then there are the two daughters-in-law, all very attractive, and Tiffany, the other daughter.…I think it’s going to be the first time that we’re ever going to see so many young, very attractive, glamorous women coming out of that White House.”
It’s Basso’s opinion, the Gucci and Balmain-loving Melania will opt to incorporate some American brands into her wardrobe — after all, she did wear Ralph Lauren on the campaign trail, which she bought at the designer’s Madison avenue store. “I think she’ll be very aware of the different designs, but she’ll also be very happy to wear American designers as well. I think she’ll wear American,” Basso predicts. I.T. will “wear her own brand, but I think she also will venture out possibly and wear things from other designers that she likes and that she’s friendly with.” She’ll need to tread carefully when it comes to wearing her namesake goods though, following controversy over the attempt to promote sales of a bracelet she wore in a family “60 Minutes” interview.
So just who are the Trumps expected to be friendly with? Basso believes “who they were involved with socially before they became politically involved, I believe they still will be friendly with those same people” — and his cabinet picks seem to be narrowing that list down.
For one, there’s Hilary Geary Ross, wife of Trump’s pick for commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, who is expected to bring her Palm Beach charity circuit ways to D.C.’s prim entertaining scene. The former society writer will no doubt swan with I.T. and Jared, as will Cindy Adams, longtime New York Post gossip columnist and a close friend to Trump.
Let the invitations fly.