Ivanka Trump has decided to shut down her down her namesake clothing brand after deciding to pursue a career in public policy administration instead of returning to her company.
“When we first started this brand, no one could have predicted the success that we would achieve. After 17 months in Washington, I do not know when or if I will ever return to the business, but I do know that my focus for the foreseeable future will be the work I am doing here in Washington, so making this decision now is the only fair outcome for my team and partners,” Ivanka Trump said in a statement.
Ivanka, who serves as a senior adviser to President Donald Trump, received heavy backlash as a symbol of President Trump’s policies. Criticism intensified after the election when she decided to advise her father while retaining ownership of her eponymous brand.
“I am beyond grateful for the work of our incredible team who has inspired so many women; each other and myself included. While we will not continue our mission together, I know that each of them will thrive in their next chapter.”
Trump’s brand of affordable fashion for young, cosmopolitan women became a polarizing political statement, bought in solidarity by Trump supporters and boycotted vigorously by others.
Abigail Klem, the current president of the Ivanka Trump brand, said in a statement on Tuesday that the move “was a very difficult decision for Ivanka.”
“We are incredibly proud of the brand we have built and the content and product we’ve developed for our customers,” Klem said, adding, “I know that this was a very difficult decision for Ivanka and I am very grateful for the opportunity to have led such a talented and committed team,” Klem added further.
Ivanka arrived at the company’s headquarters on Tuesday afternoon, where she spoke to staff members. The affected employees will receive a severance package, officials said.
The Ivanka Trump brand, based in New York’s Trump Tower with 18 employees, has suffered recently as retailers, including department-store giant Nordstrom, decided to stop selling its products.
In a goodbye tweet on Tuesday, the company said it “had cultivated amazing partnerships and friendships during the life of the brand.”
According to data from Rakuten Intelligence, online sales of Ivanka Trump merchandise at Amazon, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s and Zappos have dropped more than 55 percent in the past year.
Trump started her fine-jewelry line in 2007 and expanded into shoes, clothing, and eyewear. Like many fashion brands, the Ivanka Trump company signed licensing deals with suppliers around the world.