Ivanka Trump’s clothing line is being sold under the guise of a different label to a discount retailer, according to a new report from Business of Fashion.
The Jacksonville, Florida-based retailer Stein Mart is selling a relabeled version of Trump’s clothing as Adrienne Vittadini Studio. G-III — the company that owns the rights to manufacture and distribute Trump’s clothing — admitted they have sold relabelled merchandise to Stein Mart, all apparently without the knowledge of the first daughter.
“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, according to Business of Fashion. “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.”
As Business of Fashion reported:
Since the election of her father Donald J. Trump to the office of US president, Ivanka Trump-branded merchandise has been dropped from several prominent American retailers, most notably Nordstrom — which cited weak sales — as well as Neiman Marcus and Shoebuy.com. According to a source within Stein Mart, the retailer has received negative feedback from customers regarding Ivanka Trump product, with one customer spitting on a blouse in front of a cashier before storming out of a store.
But the motivating factors may not be that simple. Swiping labels — or simply ripping the label out completely — before a garment is sold to a discount retailer has long been commonplace. One reason is brand protection: if a brand is hot, it’s not desirable to be associated with a discounter. However, this practice occurs less often now that many major full-price retailers — such as Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue — operate their own off-price outlets, marketing the same brands they sell at full-line stores.
While reported net sales from 2016 show Trump’s products increased by $17.9 million from the prior year, the total revenue was never given, according to BoF.
“US textile product labelling laws allow substitution of labels, so long as the entity making the substitution is identified on the new label and keeps records for three years,” Susan Scafidi, professor of fashion law at Fordham Law School and founder of the Fashion Law Institute, explained to BoF. “This is mostly for supply chain tracking reasons. All of the other required information on the label — fibre content, country of origin, etcetera — must be maintained.”
Stein Mart chief executive D. Hunt Hawkins said that the relabelling had nothing to do with politics.
“We’ve had both labels for a while. We may see more Adrienne Vittadini in the short term,” Hawkins said on a phone call with BoF. “I’ve had an equal number of [customers] say that they don’t want and do want [the Ivanka Trump merchandise] in the store. If we get it, we get.”