Ivanka Trump is shutting down her namesake fashion brand to focus on her role in her father’s administration.
According to The Wall Street Journal, sales at the brand, which Trump launched in its current form in 2014, got a big boost during the 2016 presidential election. But afterwards it faced the wrath of critics of her father’s policies, with one group last year calling for a boycott of stores selling Trump-branded goods.
The business is privately held and doesn’t disclose sales or other financial information.
Abigail Klem, who became president of the brand in the spring of 2017, told its 18 employees on Tuesday (July 24) that the company would be shutting down. Trump addressed the staff later that day.
“After 17 months in Washington, I do not know when or if I will ever return to the business, but I do know that my focus for the foreseeable future will be the work I am doing here in Washington,” she said. “So making this decision now is the only fair outcome for my team and partners.
Trump separated herself from the management and operations of the company but retained ownership interest through a trust. However, she still faced criticism for what some saw as promoting the brand, wearing merchandise during appearances and posting photos on Instagram.
The brand will allow its licensing agreements with companies to expire in the coming months. However, it will continue to file trademark applications in certain instances.
Klem said in an interview that she was “incredibly proud” of the brand. “I know that this was a very difficult decision for Ivanka and I am very grateful for the opportunity to have led such a talented and committed team,” she said.