On May 31, Chinese apparel company Ribo Fashion Group raised RMB 425 million (US$62,236,000) in its IPO, according to reports by Chinese domestic media, giving the company a market valuation of about RMB 2.45 billion (US$358,772,000). Tiffany Trump has been credited with showering the company with attention, and giving it critical support in the lead up to the IPO.
Chinese fashion designer Wang Tao has been the “first daughter” Tiffany’s favorite fashion designer and personal stylist over the past year.
Formerly one of the head designers of broadcast: bo, a high-end Chinese womenswear brand owned by Ribo, Wang was also a former board member of the company.
In September 2015, Wang left Ribo to establish her own brand, Taoray Wang, according to reports by the Chinese media. But her relationship with Ribo didn’t end upon her departure. The company reportedly owns a 55 percent stake in Taoray Wang.
According to a story in Shanghai Textile Newspaper on May 31, Ribo got a boost from Taoray’s relationship with Tiffany. “Thanks to Tiffany Trump’s interest in Taoray Wang,” read the story, “and her show of support for the brand by wearing its outfits during the inauguration ceremony in January, Ribo Fashion Group received a lot of attention when queuing for its IPO.”
That story was later shared on WeChat by a member of the Taoray Wang team.
Tiffany and Wang Tao initially found each other at Taoray Wang’s Spring/Summer 2017 Runway Show during New York Fashion Week (NYFW) in September 2016. Since then, Tiffany has worn Wang ’s designs at several significant political occasions including the U.S. Presidential Debate in September 2016, and Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony this past January. She gave more love to the brand when she showed up with her mother Marla Maples at Taoray Wang’s Autumn/Winter Runway Show during the NYFW this past February.
On its first trading day, the share price for Ribo surged by 44 percent—its daily upper limit—to RMB 10.2 per share (US$1.5), from its pre-estimated market value at RMB 7.08 per share (US$1.04) that was listed in the company’s IPO prospectus, which was released publicly on May 26.
Tiffany’s support has also lifted the international reputation of the brand. According to Jing Daily’s previous interview with Wang Tao, Taoray Wang has plans to set up shop in upscale department stores in New York, London, Shanghai and Beijing in 2017, and will also start selling online.
Even though it is more about fashion than politics, the company’s close ties with the Trump family have given Ribo Fashion Group a spotlight in the IPO line-up.