Ivanka Trump‘s clothing brand has been dropped from a handful of retailers since her father was elected president, most notably Nordstrom and Burlington Coat Factory. While many businesses refuse to say the moves are strictly political, instead citing weak sales, growing movements like #GrabYourWallet have motivated Americans to boycott the Trump family’s brands, taking action against their political policies by impacting their bottom line.
This, in turn, would seem like one of the reasons Ivanka’s line has been relabeled as Adrienne Vittadini in nearly 300 Stein Mart stores across the country. In fact, a Stein Mart insider told Business of Fashion that Ivanka’s brand has garnered negative customer feedback in recent months. However, the chain’s chief executive D. Hunt Hawkins insists that the swap has nothing to do with politics.
“We’ve had both labels for a while,” he said. “We may see more Adrienne Vittadini in the short term. 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.”
While the practice of label swapping is fully legal, the Ivanka Trump brand allegedly didn’t know the switch had happened. Stein and G-III, the company that owns the rights and is licensed to manufacture and distribute Ivanka Trump clothing, were fully involved in the swap, however.
“G-III accepts responsibility for resolving this issue, which occurred without the knowledge or consent of the Ivanka Trump organisation,” the G-III rep 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.”
It is still unknown if AdrienneVittadini was aware of the swap—G-III declined to comment to BOF on the matter. According to BOF, there are items in Stein stores with both the Ivanka and Vittadini labels that are otherwise identical.
In fashion, label swapping is often done to protect a “hot” brand from being associated with a discount retailer. While some may dispute how popular Ivanka’s brand is at the moment, G-III claims that Ivanka Trump’s apparel made $17.9 million more during the 2016 fiscal year than it did in 2015. First quarter sales for 2017 have yet to be released.