Those who have boycotted Ivanka Trump’s fashion line may have bought some of the merchandise without even knowing it.
Discount retailer Stein Mart has been quietly selling Ivanka Trump’s clothing line with the label Adrienne Vittadini Studio according to Business of Fashion.
— Business of Fashion (@BoF) April 24, 2017
“BoF has learned that G-III, the company that licenses Ivanka Trump ready-to-wear, has relabeled inventory without the knowledge of the brand and sold it to discount chain Stein Mart,” Business of Fashion reported Monday.
G-III owns the right to manufacture and distribute the first daughter’s apparel line through a license agreement and acknowledged that it had made the switch without informing Trump. The re-labelled merchandise was sold to Florida-based Stein Mart which has 290 stores in 31 states.
— Twitter Moments (@TwitterMoments) April 24, 2017
“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 the fashion website.
“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,” the statement continued.
Trump-branded merchandise has been at the center of boycotts since the president was elected, with many leftists throwing tantrums over retailers carrying products that are affiliated with the Trump name. Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and some other American retailers capitulated to liberal backlash and dropped Ivanka Trump’s merchandise for fear of losing money.
Apparently re-labeling clothing lines is not only legal in some cases, it is also quite common, according to Business of Fashion:
Swiping labels — or simply ripping the label out completely — before a garment is sold to a discount retailer has long been commonplace. One reason is brand protection: if a brand is hot, it’s not desirable to be associated with a discounter. However, this practice occurs less often now that many major full-price retailers — such as Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue — operate their own off-price outlets, marketing the same brands they sell at full-line stores.
“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,” Susan Scafidi, professor of fashion law at Fordham Law School and founder of the Fashion Law Institute, said.
G-III may have been trying to protect the Trump brand from being associated with a discount retailer but Stein Mart chief executive D. Hunt Hawkins told Business of Fashion that the decision to carry the relabelled product was not political.
“Of course, the fact that a clothing retailer can legally relabel with certain restrictions doesn’t mean that it should, especially if label-conscious consumers are likely to be outraged by the switch,” Scafidi noted. “Fashion may be trending toward modesty, but when it comes to labels, customers are demanding more transparency than ever.”
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