Ivanka Trump’s clothing line sold under new name, Adrienne Vittadini

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Ivanka Trump attends US President Donald Trump's strategy and policy forum with chief executives of major US companies at the White House in Washington, US, February 3, 2017. Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

Ivanka Trump’s clothing line is being sold at American discount retailer Stein Mart under a new name- Adrienne Vittadini. The first daughter’s manufacturer reportedly clarified that the move took place with no consent from the Ivanka Trump organisation and pledged to get her name back on the apparel.

G-III, the company that manufactures and distributes Ivanka apparel through a license agreement, told Business of Fashion in a statement that it accepts responsibility for resolving the issue. A representative for the company said it has already started taking corrective actions which include facilitating the removal of all mistakenly labelled merchandise from its customers. In the statement, a G-III representative stressed that the Ivanka brand remains very strong.

Since Ivanka’s father, US President Donald J. Trump, was elected, Ivanka’s merchandise has been dropped by some US retailers such as Nordstrom, pointing at weak sales as the reason behind the decision. Neiman Marcus and Shoebuy.com also dropped the brand.

A source within Stein Mart allegedly revealed that the retailer has obtained negative feedback from customers regarding the first daughter’s line. As long as records of the switches are kept for at least three years, brand substitutions are within the law.

Not motivated by politics

Stein Mart chief executive D. Hunt Hawkins told BoF that the retailer’s recent move was not motivated by politics despite some complaints about Ivanka’s brand being sold in stores. “We may see more Adrienne Vittadini in the short term,” he said.

It remains unclear though what role Adrienne Vittadini has played in the label switcheroo. Vittadini is an actual clothing designer.

Susan Scafidi, professor of fashion law at Fordham Law School and founder of the Fashion Law Institute, pointed that although clothing retailer can legally re-label with certain restrictions, this does not mean they should particularly when customers are likely to be outraged by it. She added that when it comes to labels, customers want more transparency than ever.

G-III's sales of Ivanka Trump merchandise for the first quarter of the year is yet to be publicised. It is believed that much of the success of the brand is due to sales in China where Ivanka is usually referred to as a “goddess.”

Changing labels after a clothing brand heads to discount stores is a common practice. However, when the switch is done out permission, the perpetrators could be liable for fraud. “All of this derives historically from the law of fraud,” Scafidi said.

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