Senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump is shutting down her namesake fashion brand, citing her commitment to her work in Washington.
The daughter of President Donald Trump formally stepped back from the company, IT Collection LLC, in January 2017 after her father came into office. Abigail Klem took over as president a couple months later.
Klem announced the company’s closure to its 18 employees on Tuesday, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“I know that this was a very difficult decision for Ivanka and I am very grateful for the opportunity to have led such a talented and committed team,” Klem said in a statement. “When faced with the most unique circumstances, the team displayed strength and optimism.”
Ivanka Trump said Tuesday that dissolving the business was “the only fair outcome” for her staff, given her focus on her work in the capital.
“After 17 months in Washington, I do not know when or if I will ever return to the business, but I do know that my focus for the foreseeable future will be the work I am doing here,” she said in a statement. “So making this decision now is the only fair outcome for my team and partners.”
The decision follows intense scrutiny from ethics watchdogs who have said the business marked a major conflict of interest for Ivanka Trump. She had reportedly grown frustrated with the restrictions she had placed on the company in an effort to appease critics and prevent any potential violations of ethics laws.
Ivanka Trump also took heat for selling clothing manufactured entirely overseas, despite the president’s pledge to boost jobs in the U.S.
Company sales had soared leading up to the 2016 presidential election, but backlash over the Trump administration’s policies prompted some retailers to distance themselves.
Nordstrom dropped the line in February 2017 and Neiman Marcus announced it would no longer sell the brand’s jewelry on its website soon after. Several other stores have followed suit, including Hudson’s Bay in Canada earlier this month.
This has been updated throughout.
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