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A lot has been said, written, and tweeted over the past week about Ivanka Trump’s namesake clothing and jewelry lines. After Nordstrom dropped the apparel last Thursday — a move the POTUS called “terrible!” on Twitter — Neiman Marcus, Belk, HSN, and ShopStyle also appeared to back away from the brand. T.J. Maxx and Marshalls employees were instructed not only to move Trump products from featured displays, but also to dispose of any brand signage.
Much has been made of whether these stores’ decisions to drop the first daughter’s lines stem from politics or poor sales. But another piece of analysis remains: Are Ivanka Trump’s designs even good? According to one shopper, writer and editor Megan Carpentier, not at all.
In a lengthy Twitter thread, Carpentier begins by pointing out that poor design — not a dip in overall consumer spending — is the reason for slumping sales at womenswear retailers like Anthropologie and Banana Republic. Ivanka Trump’s brand suffers from the same problem:
Admittedly, I know very little about high fashion, but I know a LOT about the competition for work-wear aimed at women 25-40.— Megan Carpentier (@megancarpentier) February 8, 2017
2016 was a ROUGH year for preppie ready-to-wear women's business clothes for various reasons. See: https://t.co/QE3Kz8sApZ— Megan Carpentier (@megancarpentier) February 8, 2017
This is 100% Ivanka's #WomenWhoWork market, where her average dress price is around $100, and her stuff is SUPER seasonable.— Megan Carpentier (@megancarpentier) February 8, 2017
Politics aside, her designs — aimed squarely at working women — are overpriced, poorly constructed, and unflattering on anyone who doesn’t share Ivanka Trump’s exact body type. Some (hilarious) examples:
A $134 sweater dress that looks like a Christmas package won't fit anyone over a size 6 very flatteringly. And yet: https://t.co/XkRJ5o2G6D— Megan Carpentier (@megancarpentier) February 8, 2017
THIS IS A BEIGE VELOUR DRESS WITH A SECOND WAISTLINE IN THE POOCH AREA FFS https://t.co/8gTLq7LRkj— Megan Carpentier (@megancarpentier) February 8, 2017
Tim Gunn would yell at you in the workroom for not bothering to line the patterns up: https://t.co/PWVKqav5k5— Megan Carpentier (@megancarpentier) February 8, 2017
How bad your pelvis area will look in this will be dwarfed by how weird your ass will look. https://t.co/r5KbmmBWK4— Megan Carpentier (@megancarpentier) February 8, 2017
A pink drop-waist dress with grommets and a narrow-cut sleeveless top for $138? You've got to be kidding me. https://t.co/6CrP2MyN9R— Megan Carpentier (@megancarpentier) February 8, 2017
Asked whether she thinks stores have started dropping Ivanka Trump’s brand for political reasons, Carpentier says, “I absolutely 100% believe that her stuff wasn't selling. I've walked through precisely one Nordstrom and one Neiman Marcus in my life and I find it difficult to believe that the drop-off in foot traffic from liberal voters on Twitter drove a decision that fast, given how much in advance these decisions are often made.”
Carpentier adds that she’s never purchased anything from Trump’s collection, largely because of price, and that her friends who have likely “did so through discounters like DSW and T.J. Maxx (which also downgraded her line's visibility this week) rather than at Nordstrom or Needless Markup... I mean, Neiman Marcus.”
“The dresses I've seen at T.J. Maxx (here, again, revealing my finances!) never quite seemed high-end enough, quality-wise, to command their $150-and-up price tags at higher-end retailers,” she added, “though maybe I've just seen the dreckiest of the dreck.”