California fashion industry slaps Ivanka Trump with major class action lawsuit
Ivanka Trump’s company is being sued for allegedly exploiting her father’s position to reap “unfair benefits and illegal profits” in a class action lawsuit launched in California that raises further questions about the Trumps’ conflicts of interests.
San Francisco company Modern Appeals Clothing says Ivanka’s company, Ivanka Trump Marks, has an “unfair advantage” due to her White House connections. It calls for restraining orders to prevent the brand from competing unfairly in California.
“President Donald J. Trump and his individual and White House employees and agents have, since the election, promoted defendant Ivanka Trump’s brand by exploiting the power and prestige of the White House,” the suit reads.
The suit maintains Ivanka’s company’s sales have jumped more than 300 percent in January and February compared to the previous year. It calls for Ivanka’s line to be barred in California.
“As a result of their unlawful acts, defendants have reaped and continue to reap unfair benefits and illegal profits at the expense of plaintiff MAC and the class it seeks to represent,” the suit reads.
It also says the company has been “piggy backing” promotions on government events.
“That advantage is specifically prohibited by the Constitution and laws of the United States and the law of the State of California."
There have been a number of well-documented examples of Trump and his administration seemingly promoting Ivanka’s company.
Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway recently urged a Fox News audience to “go buy” Ivanka’s products, and the company emailed fashion writers to promote a $10,000 bracelet worn by Ivanka on 60 Minutes, as well Trump’s own promotional tweets.
My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person -- always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2017
The class action suit has been brought by all of the women’s clothing and accessories companies that have operated in California between election day through to the present trial.
Ivanka, who has kept all of her businesses since her father became president, but stepped down as head of her company, has just been named Assistant to the President in an unpaid role. She already has an office in the White House, despite previously saying she would play no formal role in the administration.
Like her father, Ivanka has placed her company in a trust that is run by her brother-in-law and sister-in-law. She will continue to communicate with the company through the trust and maintain veto control on decisions.
Politico reports Ivanka has divested her common stock, tech investments and investment funds since her father became president.
Trump’s Washington hotel has also been sued by a local wine bar which claims the hotel has an unfair advantage in bringing in business.