On Inauguration Day, Vanessa Trump attended her father-in-law’s swearing-in ceremony wearing a burgundy coat with a cowl collar. She paired the belted wool jacket with a black dress, open-toe stilettos, and a white clutch.
Unlike the first lady’s custom Ralph Lauren look, Vanessa’s ensemble was simple and seemingly attainable — except for the jewelry.
Donald Trump Jr.’s wife accessorized with pearl and diamond dangly earrings that just so happen to be from Ivanka Trump’s fine jewelry company — and cost $12,500. The tassel seed and pearl earrings, according to the product description, are made with 18K white gold, 2.08 total carat weight in diamonds, and 56.11 total carat weight of pearls.
Undoubtedly the earrings are beautiful, but the question remains whether or not it’s ethical for a Trump family member to wear a product from one of the family’s many brands on such a public stage.
As she explains to Yahoo Style, “Conflict of interest laws do not bar a president or his family from involving themselves in endeavors that could boost their private companies’s profitability or level of exposure. Does it stand to look bad? Yes. But is it illegal? No.”
During the presidential campaign, Ivanka regularly wore dresses from her own label. At the Republican National Convention in July, she addressed the delegates wearing a pale pink dress that retailed for $158 from her namesake brand — which promptly tweeted out the details of the look, complete with links on where to buy it. The dress sold out immediately.
But Ivanka faced public criticism after she wore a $10,800, 18K yellow gold diamond bangle from her eponymous jewelry line during the Trump family’s post-election appearance on 60 Minutes shortly after the election. Soon after the interview, one of the fashion maven’s employees sent an email to journalists offering style details on the expensive bangle — and it did not take long for social media users to take issue.
As she prepared to move to Washington, D.C., where her husband, Jared Kushner, will have an advisory role in the Trump administration, Ivanka made efforts to separate herself from her namesake brands. Earlier in the month she shared on Facebook that she’d be taking a formal leave of absence from her roles at her eponymous companies as well as the Trump Organization as soon as her father took office. As for President Donald Trump, he has similarly taken steps to mitigate his conflicts of interest.
Still, though, Ivanka stepped out in shoes of her own design at events leading up to the inauguration.
Yet, while wearing expensive earrings from your sister-in-law might be perfect legal (although, according to Zerbo, if the jewelry was gifted or lent to Vanessa or she was given some other form of compensation to specifically promote or endorse the earrings, then the Federal Trade Commission Act might come into play), Zerbo notes that “there are certainly ethical implications that come with the Trumps wearing Trump-related products, particularly if it is done for the sole purpose of boosting awareness around the brand and its goods.”
Yahoo Style has reached out to Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry for comment and will update if we hear back.