Check your clothing labels, because that Adrienne Vittadini blazer probably isn’t what it seems — fashion bloggers have discovered Ivanka Trump’ clothing brand is being sold under (gasp!) another label.
Two identical garments — one with an Ivanka Trump label and another with an Adrienne Vittadini Studio label — were discovered by London fashion blog Business of Fashion at a Stein Mart, a Florida-based discount retailer with 290 stores in 39 states.
But it’s no case of mistaken identity, G-III, the company that owns the right to manufacture and distribute Ivanka Trump clothing, admitted to selling the relabeled apparel to Stein Mart. It alleges the Ivanka Trump brand didn’t know about the label swap.
“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 Business of Fashion. “G-III has already begun to take corrective actions, including facilitating the immediate removal of any mistakenly labeled merchandise from its customer. The Ivanka Trump brand continues to grow and remains very strong.”
So why did they do it?
Despite the Ivanka Trump brand logging huge growth in 2016 — wholesale was up 61 percent and profits hit $47.3 million, Fortune reported — the brand has been struggling with an image crisis since President Donald Trump took office in January.
The first daughter’s brand first came under scrutiny when it was targeted by the grassroots Grab Your Wallet campaign alongside other Trump family brands. The movement maintains a list of products and retailers connected to the Trumps and calls for a boycott.
Before the close of the first quarter of 2017, dozens of retailers including Nordstrom, T.J. Maxx and Neiman Marcus had dropped or scaled back on carrying the Ivanka Trump brand and her apparel could be found in the bargain bins at discount stores.
The first daughter has since stepped down from heading the clothing company and has become an unofficial (yet unpaid) White House employee.
The label swap appears to be an effort by G-III to push sales of the embattled clothing line. Though it definitely raises some eyebrows, it is apparently legal.
"U.S. textile product labeling 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, founder of the Fashion Law Institute, told Business of Fashion.
As for Adrienne Vittadini? It’s unclear if she was in on the scheme, but as the owner of a little-known accessories brand, she’s sure to see her profile get a boost.