Ivanka Trump, daughter of U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event at Grumman Studios in Bethpage, New York April 6, 2016 .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
NEW YORK – Two months ago, Lauren Stearn, 35, from New Jersey put her two pairs of Ivanka Trump wedge shoes up for sale on Facebook. Even though they were worn only once, the reason for her sale, despite what some may think, has nothing to do with the name Trump – they simply don’t fit.
“I like her products and I am honestly undecided as to whether or not I would purchase something from her if her dad [Donald Trump] is elected,” she told The Jerusalem Post, Tuesday, election day in the US. “That said, I also love fashion, so if I saw something I liked from her i do not think it would stand in my way.”
Stearn is not alone. Some 83% of millennial female shoppers in the US are positively disposed toward Ivanka Trump’s line of clothing or shoes despite her involvement in her father’s presidential campaign, according to a survey conducted by the New York brand research agency Brand Keys less than a month before the election.
Of the 950 female millennial shoppers who responded, 51% are still extremely or very willing to keep the Ivanka Trump brand on their shopping lists.
When asked, “In light of Ivanka Trump’s involvement with the Trump campaign for president, how likely would you be to consider buying her line of shoes or clothing?” 18% said they are extremely likely to; 33% said they are very likely to; and only 17% said they are either not very likely to or not at all likely to buy her products.
Trump markets her fashion and accessory line with the female empowerment hashtag #womenwhowork. But in recent weeks since the release of the Access Hollywood tape in which her father was heard speaking about women in vulgar terms, another hashtag has come in her way: #GrabYourWallet, a campaign to boycott her products to protest her standing by the elder trump in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against him.
Twenty-four year old New Yorker Rachel Benaim, however, has been having “complicated emotions” toward her Ivanka Trump brown suede boots with gold detailing around the ankle, which she says are one of the most comfortable pairs she owns.
“On the one hand, they’re my favorite boots and I’ve had them for years,” she told the Post. “On the other hand, as someone who tries to be socially and ethically conscious about where I shop, I cannot support a company that has unintentional business practices that negatively affect people throughout the line of production.
“Not only that, but how could I wear a shoe that directly benefits a daughter who has tacitly complied with her father’s religious intolerance, racism, and ‘locker room banter?’” she added.
“Empowering someone like that, who could continue to peddle hatred – whether actively or passively – is against everything I believe.”
The same cannot be sad for the candidate himself. The Brand Keys study, which also evaluated the consequences of the leaked Access Hollywood tape, revealed that 100% of the categories involving the Donald Trump brand have been negatively affected.
“It’s apparent that consumers can separate the political from the paternal,” said Robert Passikoff, founder and president of Brand Keys.
“Ivanka’s comments have been pretty balanced regarding the campaign overall,” said Passikoff. “She’s been extraordinarily articulate about issues and generally supportive of her father, something anyone should have expected.”
Brand Keys has been tracking the Donald Trump brand for more than 20 years, and Passikoff says it used to be “the most powerful ‘human brand’ we had ever encountered.”
“That included people like Martha Stewart and Tiger Woods,” he explained. “But recent revelations, and his ongoing political rhetoric, have badly damaged his brand, and history proves that when a brand has been damaged this badly, it generally doesn’t come back.”