She's long been facing criticism for her business, and now things are coming to a end. Ivanka Trump's clothing company is closing down, a spokesperson for the brand confirmed to Bustle on Tuesday afternoon.
In a statement sent to Bustle, Ivanka said, "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." She continued:
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.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Abigail Klem, president of the Ivanka Trump brand, told the company's 18 employees that the business was shuttering Tuesday.
In a statement sent to Bustle, Klem said, "We are incredibly proud of the brand we have built and the content and product we’ve developed for our customers. Our platform has become an indispensable resource for our loyal community of women. We’ve seen strong sales since the brand’s inception, which continued through this year with the successful launch of our rapidly growing e-commerce business."
However, recent reports indicated that the brand's sales were down. In April, the company began selling products at a discount on its website as stores around the country dropped the brand. Just last week, a spokesperson for Ivanka told Bustle that the reason Hudson's Bay had decided to stop stocking the line was due to a retail atmosphere that is "causing more and more brands to focus their efforts on e-commerce."
While consumers are certainly turning more often to online shopping, the Ivanka Trump brand was also a target of the #GrabYourWallet campaign, which urged people to boycott stores and retailers that did business with the Trump family. And dozens of places did stop stocking products related to the Trumps, as the headlines swirled with allegations of conflicts of interest, criticism over connections to China, and claims about the working conditions in the factories that made the products.
The company asserts that the decision to close had nothing to do with the performance of the brand and everything to do with the fact that Ivanka is in Washington, D.C., and plans to remain there for the foreseeable future. When she first stepped away from the business to take a prominent role in her father's presidential administration, certain restrictions were put on the company, since it was being held in a trust. Because the brand was unable to grow with these restrictions, the company says, Ivanka decided to begin winding down the business. The licensing contracts that are already in place will run their course.
"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 in her statement. "When faced with the most unique circumstances, the team displayed strength and optimism. From the initial launch of the brand in 2014 to the recent expansion of direct-to-consumer capabilities on our website, I am thankful to the team for the great work they have done and to our outstanding partners who so diligently executed our brand vision."