Trump was apparently very emotional about the decision
Although Ivanka Trump announced today that she is officially shutting down her namesake fashion and accessories brand, the decision apparently wasn’t an easy one.
A year and a half into her father’s presidency, Trump “recognized that where her focus is now is on her work in Washington,” a source close to Trump tells PEOPLE. “She realized that this was the most practical path forward.”
Trump stepped away from the company in an official capacity when she went to work as a special counselor to her father in Washington, D.C., but until now, the label had remained in business with her name attached to it. Trump has received criticism for profiting off of her position, as well as for publicly championing American-made products while her own line is made in China. (She recently received seven new Chinese trademarks for the label at the same time her father promised to save jobs at ZTE, a major Chinese telecommunications company.)
Even before President Trump’s election, Ivanka’s line was boycotted by many shoppers via the grassroots #GrabYourWallets campaign, which was a direct response to the Access Hollywood tape in which Trump boasted about groping women. The line has also been pulled from department stores like Nordstrom and Canadian-owned Hudson’s Bay, which officially dropped the line last week.
“As part of our regular course of business, we review our merchandise offerings and make appropriate changes,” Hudson’s Bay said in a statement, obtained by the Washington Post.
The source says that the company was “still profitable” in its final days. (According to fashion website Racked, Ivanka Trump sales sharply declined in 2017, from 228 percent growth in March to negative-one percent in September. However a spokesperson for the Ivanka Trump brand says the decision to close “has nothing to do with the performance of the brand.”)
“It was a very emotional decision for her to fold the brand,” the source adds. “Obviously she has been very involved in her brand and she cares a lot about it. She was very proud of it.”
Ivanka’s decision ultimately “speaks to the fact that she plans to remain in Washington, and there is no timeline for her to return to the business,” says the source, echoing the statement she herself put out today.
“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,” Trump said in her official statement announcing the label’s closing.
Ethics requirements placed on the company due to Ivanka’s position also became “extremely limiting,” adds the source, who added that “They had to pass on a lot of opportunities in order to be cautious about ethics concerns.”