If people don't want to buy pieces from Ivanka Trump's clothing line, the only logical thing to do is change the labels and pretend the clothes are from another brand, right?
It's an interesting/shady AF sales technique, to be sure, but according to Business of Fashion, the company that licenses Ivanka Trump's brand relabelled her inventory as Adrienne Vittadini, then proceeded to sell the clothing items to Stein Mart, a chain of discount department stores with nearly 300 locations in the United States.
As BoF stated, G-III—the company that owns the right to manufacture and distribute Ivanka's brand—admitted the garments were relabeled and sold without informing Trump's people.
"G-III accepts responsibility for resolving this issue, which occurred without the knowledge or consent of the Ivanka Trump organisation," a G-III representative told 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."
Since the 2016 presidential campaigns, Ivanka Trump's clothing and jewelry line have received a significant deal of backlash prompting major stores like Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, T.J. Maxx, and Marshall's to pull her brand from shelves back in Feb. after a boycott campaign #GrabYourWallet, which urged people to stop supporting any brand or store with ties to President Trump.
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According to BoF, a source within Stein Mart claimed Trump's brand has also received negative feedback from customers, alleging one person even spat on a Trump-labeled blouse in-store and angrily left.
But on Friday, Stein Mart chief executive D. Hunt Hawkins acknowledged that the chain was aware of the swap, and told BoF that the decision was not reflective of complaints over Trump's label. "We've had both labels for a while. We may see more Adrienne Vittadini in the short term," he said. "I've had an equal number of [customers] say that they don't want and do want [the Ivanka Trump merchandise] in the store."
Though the process seems somewhat controversial, Susan Scafidi, founder of the Fashion Law Institute, told BoF that label substitutions are legal. "US textile product labelling laws allow substitution of labels, so long as the entity making the substitution is identified on the new label and keeps records for three years," she said. "This is mostly for supply chain tracking reasons. All of the other required information on the label—fibre content, country of origin, etcetera—must be maintained."
However, it remains unclear whether the re-labeled inventory was sold to other retailers aside from Stein Mart, or if Adrienne Vittadini was informed of the label substitution before it happened.
"If the original label [is replaced] with that of a third party unaware of the substitution, the [responsible party] would be liable to the third party," Scafidi says. "All of this derives historically from the law of fraud."
In the mean time, stay tuned to see if Kellyanne Conway advises people to go buy Adrienne Vittadini's stuff.