A number of higher-end retailers, including Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, recently stopped selling Ivanka Trump’s clothing and apparel line, citing slow sales. Now some Ivanka items are showing up on the less-glamorous racks of discount retailer Stein Mart, but without the Ivanka name.
According to Business of Fashion, a company called G-III has the rights to make and distribute Ivanka Trump apparel. And G-III has apparently, without knowledge of the First Daughter or others at her brand, relabeled some Ivanka items as “Adrienne Vittadini Studio,” and sold them to Stein Mart. It’s unclear if other retailers also purchased these items.
“G-III accepts responsibility for resolving this issue, which occurred without the knowledge or consent of the Ivanka Trump organisation,” a representative for G-III said in a statement to BoF. “G-III has already begun to take corrective actions, including facilitating the immediate removal of any mistakenly labelled merchandise from its customer. The Ivanka Trump brand continues to grow and remains very strong.”
Swapping labels out or removing them entirely before clothing is sold to a discount retailer is not a new idea, BoF notes. But large department stores like Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus operate their own outlet locations, and are therefore more likely to push the same brands in all their stores.
It’s also entirely legal to substitute labels, a professor of fashion law told BoF, “so long as the entity making the substitution is identified on the new label and keeps records for three years” for supply chain tracking reasons. Adrienne Vittadini would also have to be aware that its label was on the clothing, she adds, to stay on the right side of fraud laws.
So why would G-III make the switch? BoF cites an insider at Stein Mart who said the chain received negative feedback from customers about Ivanka Trump products. However, Stein Mart CEO D. Hunt Hawkins told the site that despite some customer complaints about the Ivanka Trump label, the choice to sell the relabeled clothing had nothing to do with politics.
“We’ve had both labels for a while. We may see more Adrienne Vittadini in the short term,” he said. “I’ve had an equal number of [customers] say that they don’t want and do want [the Ivanka Trump merchandise] in the store.”
It’s unclear why Adrienne Vittadini was chosen as the new label, as BoF points out that Authentic Brands Group licenses that line, not G-III, which declined to explain the switch. Authentic Brands Group declined to comment.