Recently I found the perfect pair of spring heels at Nordstrom Rack. Their most defining characteristic? They’re designed by Ivanka Trump. I didn’t think anything of it, aside from the fact that the daughter of our current president has great taste in shoes. Apparently, however, Nordstrom is one of many stores that will no longer carry products by Ivanka. Perhaps this might explain the awkward moment I had not too long ago in the purse aisle of a TJ Maxx in Georgetown. I found a beautiful white and gold bag on the sale table: “Ivanka Trump,” I read aloud, with a tone of both surprise and admiration. And then a woman standing nearby made a terrible assumption. “Disappointing, right?” I was aghast. “No, actually,” I replied. “I love Ivanka.”
I proudly purchased those $40 Ivanka Trump heels. When I walk across Washington in my new shoes, I will wear them with the knowledge that I’ll be supporting a brand that represents the American spirit at its finest: A talented, ambitious woman utilizing the resources afforded her as a daughter and heiress of a real estate empire to build a fashion empire of her own. As Vogue reported last year on the evolution of Ivanka’s brand:
Despite the bad economy, it succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations, paving the way for her line of shoes. And that is when she saw that there was a big hole in the market: No one was designing for the young professional woman who wants clothes with more style than Ann Taylor but not as fashion-disposable as H&M.
There are many young twenty- and thirty-something professional women seeking clothing from a brand that blends quality and style with affordability, which can be very difficult to find. As Ivanka herself has argued:
There was a previous generation of women who rose through the ranks in an environment when work and life were highly compartmentalized. And I think now, because of technology, we’re always on. Where there used to be work life and home life, now it’s one life. And I think a lot of companies don’t recognize that.
Many conservatives and Trump supporters across America must be feeling as if we’re living in a kind of post-Trump twilight zone. The President-elect bringing a First Lady who achieved fame as a model and a daughter who started a million-dollar fashion empire into the White House? What would in previous ages have been considered a much-needed injection of style into Washington in our politically divisive age is denounced as more evidence of Trump’s failings. Recall the condescending “Free Melania” chatter from the Left after the election—A former runway model’s stoic gaze in front of the camera is translated by progressives into a fabricated issue of human rights that even Cosmopolitan considered a sexist and patronizing move. When Jackie Kennedy was first lady, women all over America wrote to inquire about every aspect of her life—from what jewelry she favored to what clothing (and even what unmentionables!) the First Lady wore. Today, by contrast, Ivanka’s efforts to sell style to the masses is viewed with suspicion and even greeted with lawsuits.
It is blatantly anti-feminist to be anti-Ivanka. In a ridiculously snide piece in the New York Times, Frank Bruni dismissed Ivanka’s website as an “overstuffed flea market of threadbare aphorisms,” when in fact Ivanka’s brand is an aesthetically integrated woman’s enterprise geared toward selling a vision of empowered and feminine leaders—from mothers balancing work and family to millennial professionals embarking on careers.
The next time a critic from the left denounces a lady Trump, consider showing some compassion and even appreciation for a mother and entrepreneur like Ivanka, an “always on” woman under intense scrutiny by a rabid media. And to the Ivanka haters: Keep your punditry out of my closet.
This piece has been republished with permission from Acculturated.
Image Credit: Rubenstein (cropped) bit.ly/1ryPA8o