Despite being dropped from major retail partners (including Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus) and a vociferous social media campaign to boycott the brand, Ivanka Trump fashions saw a surge in sales early last month, especially on Feb. 9.
The reason? Kellyanne Conway’s dubiously ethical brand promotion on Fox & Friends.
Major fashion e-commerce site Lyst ranked Ivanka Trump in the 550th spot based on their orders in January, but by early February, the brand rose to 11th spot. The most notable jump, the site says, came on Feb. 9, when sales spiked 219 per cent — the same day Conway was interviewed on the Fox program and urged viewers to “go buy Ivanka’s stuff.”
In an interview with The Washington Post, Lyst spokesperson Sarah Tanner said it wouldn’t be surprising if Conway’s comments caused the surge in sales.
“I think that’s one of the reasons the brand was largely in the news and could have attributed to this increase,” she said. “We’ve never seen such a large uptick. Typically, she’s not in our top 100 sellers.”
Similarly, Slice Intelligence, an e-commerce research firm, reports a 332 per cent increase in year-over-year U.S. sales of Ivanka Trump products on Amazon in January and February. Sales at Macy’s increased 148 per cent, and at Bloomingdale’s they rose 29.5 per cent.
“Since the beginning of February, they were some of the best performing weeks in the history of the brand,” Abigail Klem, president of Ivanka Trump, said in an interview with Refinery29. “For several different retailers, Ivanka Trump was a top performer online and in some of the categories it was the [brand’s] best performance ever.”
Although Conway’s comments were immediately called out for violating ethics standards, and incited the Office of Government Ethics to urge the White House to investigate her, she was exonerated of any wrongdoing earlier this month.
In a letter to the Office of Government Ethics, Stefan C. Passantino, a White House deputy counsel for compliance and ethics, stated: “Upon completion of our inquiry, we concluded that Ms. Conway acted inadvertently and is highly unlikely to do so again.”
Although last month’s sales increase was bolstered by the brouhaha surrounding Conway, a surge was inevitable — especially with overseas consumers who now see the Ivanka Trump brand tied to “the glamour” of the White House, according to brand expert Eric Schiffer.
“She continues to represent the quintessential American woman that is successful, a mother and beautiful, and they want that image for themselves,” he said in an interview with CNN Money. “But there’s also a lot of women who see her as tied to someone who wants to take us back to the days of Game of Thrones, and they’d rather buy from the devil.”