It's no secret that President Donald Trump and his family have not received the warmest of welcomes from the fashion industry. Designers have publicly stated they wouldn't dress the first family in custom designs, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and even Belk have cut back on their relationships with the Ivanka Trump brand, and the CFDA has partnered with Planned Parenthood for New York Fashion Week amidst fears that the Trump administration and congressional Republicans may cut all federal funding to the women's health organization.
Trump seems upset with this turn of events. In fact, two developments this week seem to suggest that the family is particularly upset about any impediments it or its related brands have to profiting off of fashion during Trump's term.
The first comes in the president's angry response to news of Nordstrom dropping the clothing and accessories brand that bears his daughter's name. The department store chain said it would not order any new items from the brand's latest season, and claimed that it had nothing to do with politics but rather dwindling sales and interest in the brand. Notably, however, the retailer was included on a viral listing of companies that should be boycotted because they do business with Trump-related brands.
The President of the United States took to Twitter this morning to lambast the Seattle, Washington-based company.
Update: The Trump administration has doubled down on the feud, and the President's counselor Kellyanne Conway took to Fox News this morning to tell viewers to go buy Ivanka Trump products, perhaps breaking federal law in the process.
A curious take, considering that Ivanka Trump officially severed ties with the brand before her father's inauguration. So, technically it's not Ivanka Trump the person being treated "horribly" by Nordstrom, but, rather the brand she stepped down from. (If you'll recall, she once very prominently wore one of her own pieces of jewelry in the first post-election interview with 60 Minutes, drawing criticism for the transparent bid to profit off the presidential race.)
Then there's the matter of Melania Trump's lawsuit against The Daily Mail's website. The first lady is suing the outlet after it ran a peculiar story insinuating that she once worked as a high-end escort. It was a particularly messy example of tabloid journalism that would have likely warranted a lawsuit no matter who it concerned, so it's not odd that the suit was filed. What is odd, however, are claims made by Mrs. Trump's lawyer in the filings.
"Plaintiff had the unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as an extremely famous and well-known person, as well as a former professional model and brand spokesperson, and successful businesswoman, to launch a broad-based commercial brand in multiple product categories, each of which could have garnered multi-million dollar business relationships for a multi-year term during which Plaintiff is one of the most photographed women in the world," read the filing. "These product categories would have included, among other things, apparel, accessories, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, hair care, skin care and fragrance."
Even The New York Times editorial board seemed aghast at the suggestion the Mrs. Trump's lawyers seemed to admit she planned to commercially profit off of her role as the first lady through things like a fashion line and perfumes.
The optics make it seem like the Trump White House is particularly angry at any damage made to any Trump-related fashion brands, whether they be previously existing or, in Melania's case, potential.
Though, that same Donald Trump White House seems to have no problem with attacking any fashion company that doesn't agree with its politics or opinions. In addition to Trump's angry tweet against Nordstrom, he has previously lambasted designer Tom Ford and recounted with glee that the designer's products were dropped from a Las Vegas resort. Ford had previously stated that he wouldn't dress Melania Trump, but also added he wouldn't have been interested in dressing Hillary Clinton either.
It's an odd, adversarial position for a first family to take against the fashion industry even as some industry leaders, notably Ralph Lauren and Carolina Herrera, have been willing to dress various members of the family for high-profile events, like the inauguration. It's still a multi-billion dollar industry, and America does face larger problems aside from which department chain you can or can not purchase an Ivanka Trump-branded brooch from.
Watch W's Most Popular Videos: