If you've been boycotting Trump brands, prepare to be shocked — according to Business of Fashion, you may have bought Ivanka Trump clothing and not even known it.
Today, a story broke that Ivanka Trump's controversial fashion line was being re-labeled and sold under a different name to unknowing consumers.
Since the beginning of her father's campaign, Ivanka Trump and her clothing line has been filled with controversy. In October 2016, a Trump merchandise boycott began called #Grabyourwallet, causing many big retailers — such as Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, T.J. Maxx and Marshalls — to drop Ivanka's line.
Many people have avoided spending their money on the Trump brands. But according to Business of Fashion, discount retailer Stein Mart "is selling Ivanka Trump garments relabeled as Adrienne Vittadini Studio."
Business of Fashion also published this photo of "identical garments being sold at Stein Mart, with the only difference being the name on the label. Some say “Ivanka Trump” while others say “Adrienne Vittadini."
Adrienne Vittadini is a real brand that isn't affiliated with the Ivanka Trump label — so how did this swap happen?
Turns out, it's allegedly all down to the producer and distributor. G-III, a company that produces, distributes, and has licensing agreements with Ivanka Trump's line DID relabel the Ivanka merchandise that was destined for Stein Mart, and has apologized — but not for the reason you'd think.
“G-III accepts responsibility for resolving this issue, which occurred without the knowledge or consent of the Ivanka Trump organisation,” a representative for G-III said in a statement to BoF.
"G-III has already begun to take corrective actions, including facilitating the immediate removal of any mistakenly labelled merchandise from its customer. The Ivanka Trump brand continues to grow and remains very strong."
Turns out that relabelling clothing is legal, and happens a lot — especially if a brand doesn't want to be seen selling their clothes to a discount retailer.
But, as Paper Magazine observes, it's likely G-III was hoping dropping Ivanka's troubled name would help the items sell.
And Stein Mart CEO D. Hunt Hawkins seemed indifferent to the political controversy behind the brand.
"We’ve had both labels for a while," he said in a statement. "We may see more Adrienne Vittadini in the short term. I’ve had an equal number of [customers] say that they don’t want and do want [the Ivanka Trump merchandise] in the store. If we get it, we get it."
While it may be legal to substitute one brand name for another and sell it, the question remains how ethical it is.
Consumers shouldn't be ignored, and they shouldn't be misled about what they're buying. We are demanding more transparency, and we should get it — especially when it comes to a controversial line like Ivanka's.