It’s hardly a secret that many Chinese consumers adore Ivanka Trump, and one would expect this adoration could translate to her brand, should it come to China. However, a new video posted by Chinese state-run news agency, the Global Times, suggests millennial shoppers are decidedly critical of her luxury label.
In the video, reporters are in Taikoo Li in Beijing’s trendy Sanlitun district to interview shoppers about the rumored stores that are scheduled to open in China in the second half of this year. Responses were lukewarm, with interviewees stating the first daughter’s clothing brand is “too expensive,” that “it copies big brands,” it’s “cheap,” and that it’s aimed at an older clientele.
“Compared with Sanlitun’s fashionistas, it’s just a little lacking,” one interviewee said.
The full video can be viewed here.
If Ivanka Trump does pivot to the China market and opens brick and mortar boutiques, it wouldn’t be the first time. The brand opened a shop in Beijing’s Parkview Green mall that closed in 2015 after hype over the expansion seemed to quietly fizzle out, according to a BuzzFeed report. Of course, soon after Donald Trump became president, her stores were boycotted in the United States, yet word about her fan base in China began circulating in media reports, with Chinese state news agency Xinhua going so far as to compare her to celebrity Fan Bingbing. Her popularity has risen to the point that Chinese companies are seeking to benefit, filing for trademarks to use her namesake for various products, including cosmetics and clothing.
Last week, Ms. Trump was back in the news when she herself had three trademarks approved for her brand’s shoes, bags, and spa services. The approval has attracted criticism for the fact that it coincided with the meeting between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at Trump’s Mar-a-lago resort.
But in China, media response to her trademark acquisition is on the defensive. An English-language article published in the Global Times stated, “Ivanka is more than welcome to develop her brand in China, and the Chinese market is open to all that abide by the law. The US media should facilitate this process rather than undermining China-US relations.”
Ivanka isn’t the only Trump with fashion-related ties to China. Donald Trump’s daughter, Tiffany Trump, has a close relationship with Chinese designer Taoray Wang and has worn her line to political events and attended her runway shows at New York Fashion Week. The designer has maintained that their relationship has been purely designer-client and devoid of political motivation.