Ivanka Trump shuts fashion line, to focus on White House role

(Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s oldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, said on Tuesday she is closing her fashion line to focus her energies on advising her father’s White House.

A clothing item made by the Ivanka Trump brand is seen for sale at a Marshalls department store in Queens, New York, U.S., July 24, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The president, whose fortune comes from real estate development, came into office carrying a broad family business portfolio that trades heavily on the family name.

He has made regular visits to Trump-branded properties during his time in office, prompting some critics to complain that he is using the profile of his office to promote his private businesses.

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“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,” Ivanka Trump said in a statement.

Her company said licensing contracts would not be renewed and those in place will be allowed to run their course. Mid-priced women’s clothing, shoes and accessories were sold under the label.

Trump’s combative style on the campaign trail and as president have drawn the family’s brands into political fights, with some supporters hosting events at the luxury Trump International Hotel blocks from the White House while opponents have called for boycotts of the family’s businesses.

Retailers including Nordstrom Inc (JWN.N), Hudson’s Bay Co (HBC.TO) Sears Holdings Corp (SHLD.O) and Kmart have dropped or sharply scaled back their assortment of Trump-branded products, though they typically attributed those decisions to poor sales rather than political messages.

Ivanka Trump’s brand said in a statement that retailers including Bloomingdale’s, owned by Macy’s Inc (M.N), Dillard’s Inc (DDS.N) and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) continued to carry her wares.

The most organized boycott of Trump-related businesses, “Grab Your Wallet,” began in the final weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign, following the release of a recording of Trump discussing grabbing women by their genitals.

“This is the biggest possible win for Grab Your Wallet,” said the group’s co-founder, Shannon Coulter, a San Francisco marketing executive, in a phone interview.

In office, President Trump has been a loud advocate for domestic manufacturing, prompting criticism that much of the Ivanka Trump line was made overseas, as is the vast majority of clothing and footwear sold in the United States.

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