image: Ivanka Trump

image: Ivanka Trump

Ivanka Trump’s licensee is publicly accepting responsibility for the brand’s clothing that was relabeled as a different designer, making headlines this week. G-III Apparel Group Inc., which is licensed to manufacture clothing under the Ivanka Trump brand name, said it was removing the mislabeled items sold at discount retailer Stein Mart. It said the relabeling to Adrienne Vittadini “occurred without the knowledge or consent of the Ivanka Trump organization.” It didn’t say how the error occurred.

Stein Mart, which was primarily offering the mislabeled goods, said it is working with the manufacturer to resolve the issue, while representatives for Trump declined to comment.

The Ivanka Trump brand has become a politically charged proxy for some supporters and opponents of her father, President Donald Trump. Some retailers have cut back on orders. Others are treading carefully so as not to alienate any customers.

Neiman Marcus, for instance made headlines in February when it stopped selling Ivanka Trump’s jewelry line on its website and stores in New Jersey. That same month, Nordstrom announced that it would cease sales of the First Daughter’s collection. The Seattle-based department store chain said the decision was based on the sales performance of the first daughter’s brand. The move comes amid a weeks-long campaign known as “Grab Your Wallet,” which has been calling for a boycott of retailers that carry Ivanka Trump or Donald Trump merchandise.

Trump, emerged as one of the most striking figures in her father Donald Trump’s political campaign, and her business first came under fire after she appeared on CBS’s “60 Minutes” in November 2016 wearing a nearly $11,000 gold bracelet from her jewelry line, shortly after which someone from the brand company a pitch, including photos from the interview to journalists, seeking free publicity.

More recently, Ivanka’s footwear collection came under fire for its manufacturing practices. According to reports, the Chinese factory at issue, Xuankai Footwear Ltd., which has produced Trump-brand footwear, requires laborers to work lengthy shifts stretching up to 16 hours that tested and exceeded the limits of human endurance. Some workers have alleged that the factory paid illegally low overtime rates and systematically delayed wage payments.

And just this week, a factory audit revealed that workers at a factory in China used by the company that makes clothing for Ivanka Trump’s fashion line and other brands worked nearly 60 hours a week to earn wages equivalent to little more than US$62 a week. The factory’s 80 workers knit clothes for the contractor, G-III Apparel Group, which has held the exclusive licence to make the Ivanka Trump brand’s $158 dresses, $79 blouses and other clothes since 2012. The company also makes clothes for Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and other brands.