• The Life

    What Ivanka Trump Wants

    • Aug 26, 2013

    • By:Richard Perez-Feria

    OK, I’ll just say it: Ivanka Trump is perfect. And I can prove it. Sort of.

    A few years ago, in the midst of her mother’s spirited campaign for president, Chelsea Clinton, another Manhattan-based child of privilege with supernova star wattage, was sitting in the booth next to mine in the patio of The Abbey, West Hollywood’s legendary hotspot. It was lunchtime, and Chelsea, sitting with a group of good-looking guys, was clearly in great spirits; I knew this because she’d frequently throw her head back and laugh, much like her mom does. When one of her more, um, effervescent friends playfully messed up her hair, the delighted group, including Chelsea, screamed in joyful hilarity. That’s when it hit me: There wasn’t a chance in hell that Ivanka Trump—in my mind, Chelsea’s chief rival for the White House in 2028—would ever find herself in this predicament. Ever. C’mon… can you, in a million years, picture the elegant, composed, impeccably coiffed Ivanka sitting with six muscular male friends in a WeHo gay bar in the middle of the work day, laughing at her messed up hair? I certainly can’t.

    Here’s the thing: There isn’t anyone on the planet—I’ll say that again slowly: Nobody. On. Earth—who has managed to combine such a mind-blowing, crazy/eclectic résumé, ethereal supermodel looks and Buddhist-like calm in the face of conflict. She always has the answer or the solution and conveys it without making the lesser lights around her feel inferior. No one else can check all those boxes. No man. No woman. No one. Yes, Ivanka is a business mogul in the making, and in many ways she’s her father’s daughter. But more than anything, Ivanka, as her single-name moniker suggests, is a true original, the likes of which we have never encountered before. Ever.

    Given Ivanka’s ridiculous roster of corporate and personal achievements, it’s hard to fathom that she’s barely past 30. Ambitious, whip-smart, serious—Ivanka trump has packed her young life with ascendant, turbo-powered precision. Astonishingly, the statuesque beauty hasn’t made a public misstep yet. Not one. Ever.

    Ivanka Trump became a household name as the gorgeous teenage offspring of the combustible/fascinating union of Ivana and “The Donald,” as the blonde socialite famously referred to her husband. In the middle of a successful career as a model—Ivanka’s 1997 debut on the cover of Seventeen served notice on a curious world that a new, stunning trump had arrived—Ivanka graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton school of Finance with a degree in economics. Clearly, merely graduating near the top of her class from an Ivy League school wasn’t enough; Ivanka excelled at arguably the country’s premier business school as well. So began a dizzying streak of overachievement that Ivanka Trump is still navigating.

    Then, the inevitable: A corner office in the executive suite of her father’s global conglomerate. Again, success begat success. Ivanka currently wears numerous hats for The Trump Organization, including Executive Vice President of Development & Acquisitions, for which she’s charged with the domestic and global expansion of the company’s real estate interests. No small task, to be sure. Since joining The Trump Organization in 2005, Ivanka has directed all areas of the company’s real estate and hotel management platforms. To do a deep dive into the specifics of what Ivanka spearheads at the company would be an exercise in jaw-dropping corporate competence—from overseeing The Trump Hotel Collection (executive management and interior design) to championing the acquisition and $250 million renovation of the legendary Doral Hotel & Spa (soon to be Trump National Doral) in Miami, and a heavy armload of other projects and functions, this Trump is all business, all the time.

    To the surprise of exactly no one, Ivanka Trump has become a colossal global brand. Starting in 2007 with the monster success of Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry, the chic founder opened boutiques in Manhattan (SoHo) and Beijing, and her luxe baubles are now sold at elegant department stores worldwide. The bling queen then launched Ivanka Trump Footwear in 2010, and no less an authority than Footwear News, the industry’s bible, dubbed Ivanka’s collection the “Launch of the Year.” With runaway successes in jewelry and shoes, Ivanka quickly followed up by adding an abundance of categories to her already impressive portfolio: handbags, outerwear, sunglasses, fragrance, apparel, home décor and cold weather accessories (gloves, scarves, hats, oh my!)—there’s no doubt, the lady makes bank. And she’s just getting started. Don’t forget, Ivanka tackles her branded businesses in addition to her daunting 24/7 responsibilities at the Trump Organization. But she’s not done. Not by a long shot.

    Most of us have watched Ivanka serve as her father’s principal adviser, sitting side by side in the notorious (“You’re fired!”) conference room on NBC’s primetime hit The Celebrity Apprentice. The show is interesting enough theater—it’s riveting watching the (formerly?) famous folks work, plan, scheme and suffer epic meltdowns for all to see; but, for me, what ultimately makes the show must-see TV comes from reveling in Ivanka’s genuinely bemused expressions as she witnesses these well-known folks lying and, ultimately, self-destructing on camera. But if you play back every single scene and listen to every single utterance that has ever come out of Ivanka Trump’s mouth on The Celebrity Apprentice, she not only has displayed herculean composure and well-heeled manners but also has been dead-on right about absolutely everything, every single time. Every. Single. Time.

    Now, ordinarily, that alone would be freaky and all kinds of annoying if it were someone else. But, we’re all still on team Ivanka, and here’s why: Given her abundant gifts—smarts, beauty, money—Ivanka Trump retains a loose, aloof awareness of what really matters to you and me—civilians—and she embraces her calling with a sort of couture common touch. It’s as if Princess Diana and Martha Stewart forged spirits and created—wait for it—The Perfect Woman, Ivanka. Who can resist equal parts charm, beauty and brains? Exactly.

    As if Ivanka’s business acumen and unrivaled taste weren’t enough, she had to go on and marry one of Manhattan’s most eligible bachelors—owner of The New York Observer—Jared Kushner, and give birth to a true beauty, Arabella Rose. And, yep, baby No. 2 is due any moment now.

    I can see why some of us mere mortals could be annoyed by the very idea of Ivanka Trump. Perfect career, perfect family, perfect life. It is annoying. But I don’t sense a lot of that is going on; quite the opposite. With yet another deft trick up her beautifully stitched sleeve, Ivanka is also made of Teflon. Case in point: When her father notoriously goes off the rails politically and quite publically—I won’t even get into the ridiculousness of it here—Ivanka (and her successful enterprises) remains unscathed by the controversy, as if her last name weren’t Trump at all. Plausible deniability has never had a more attractive spokesperson than Ivanka. The Donald’s gifted daughter seems to have it all figured out, and it’s nothing short of spellbinding to witness.

    I, for one, can’t wait to see that sure-to-be epic presidential campaign between Chelsea Clinton and Ivanka Trump in 2028. These two politically savvy and articulate Manhattan princesses, who clearly both exude the very best their last names afford them, going head to head in the public square for the betterment of our country’s future? Yes, please. I like it. I really, really like it. But as much as I L-O-V-E anyone named Clinton—believe me—I wouldn’t ever bet against Ms. Trump when she sets her mind on doing something. Not ever. Ever.

    Let’s try this together, shall we? Everyone take a deep breath, take a sip of the sophisticated, billionaire flavored Kool-Aid and say it with me: Ivanka Trump is perfect. She really is.

    What’s the best piece of advice your dad ever gave you?

    My father has always told me, “Be passionate. If you’re passionate about what you do, you’ll ultimately succeed.”

    I’m curious: What would be your advice to women who want to succeed, as you have, in business?

    You must challenge yourself. Seek feedback on your work from peers and superiors. Criticisms may be hard to hear, but in the end they’ll make you better. Be confident enough to ask questions. This will help you gain perspective and allow you to make the most knowledgeable decisions. Have a positive mindset, and surround yourself with optimists. Nothing is more demotivating than negativity. Take pride in your work and your passion will inspire others.

    The career, the family, the success—having it all can’t be as easy as you make it look, right?

    Efficiency is everything. It’s definitely an advantage living close enough to the office that I can stop at home between meetings to spend some time with Arabella. I’m always working, but I love it, and that’s why it works.

    OK, let’s talk New Jersey.

    I have many fond memories from my time spent in New Jersey, but I particularly cherish the moments spent at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster—not only is it one of my favorite golf courses in the world, it’s also where I was married to my wonderful husband, Jared. The golf course is challenging, gorgeous and the perfect escape from the city. I also try to visit Trump National Golf Club Philadelphia. I fell in love with the area when attending Wharton, and the Philadelphia course, designed by Tom Fazio, is simply stunning.

    What’s next for Ivanka Trump?

    Our massive $250 million renovation of the iconic Doral resort in Miami began last March, directly after the Cadillac Championships, so I’ll continue to spend a lot of time commuting to Miami to oversee the project. The resort was once the pinnacle of luxury in South Florida, and my family and I fully intend on restoring that reputation—and then some. I’ll also be spending quite a bit of time in Washington, D.C., as our plans for the Old Post Office move forward. I’m very excited to be spearheading this project as well, along with my father and brothers.

    In addition to my work with the Trump Organization, there are several exciting projects on the horizon for the Ivanka Trump brand. I’m very much looking forward to the launch of the new “Ivanka” leather-handbag collection. The bags are unique in comparison to my previous collections but are still consistent with the overall Ivanka trump brand. early next year I’ll be launching home décor and a collection of cold weather accessories, including scarves, hats, gloves and belts. Beauty is a place I have yet to explore beyond fragrance, but right now I want to focus on solidifying all of my existing product categories. In addition to the expansion of the brand categorically, I’ve also been focused on growing my wholesale footprint domestically, as well as in independent freestanding stores and e-commerce. As you can surely tell, I’m very excited to get the new innovative Ivanka e-commerce site up and running within the next few months.

    Let’s talk television, shall we? Who do you think has been the most impressive contestant on The Celebrity Apprentice thus far?

    The contestants surprise me every season. I’m so enamored with their personalities, determination and skills. It’s so much fun to watch the celebrities compete, and I feel very fortunate to have spent time with each of them over the years.

    Are you an inherently shy person?

    You know, I’m actually not a shy person, but I do think it’s important to maintain a certain level of privacy, especially when family is concerned.

    OK, Ivanka, fess up: Tell me your secret to a happy marriage.

    Marry the right person, and then never take them for granted.

    What’s your beauty routine?

    Recently, natural companies have improved the quality of their products as well as the scents. Cleaner and toxic-free products have always been a go-to part of my routine. For skincare, I love Tammy Fender’s products and always have La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios sunscreen, Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm, Trish McEvoy High Volume Mascara and Estée Lauder Smoothing Crème Concealer in my Ivanka collection bag. I never leave home without a spritz of my signature Ivanka Trump fragrance with a hint of Bulgarian rose. It’s subtle but refreshing and works both at the office and out on the town.

    Define luxury.

    To me, luxury actually means exquisite comfort and quality.

    Let’s wrap this up with a revelation: Tell me a secret or something we’d be surprised to know about you.

    OK, I danced in The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center in New York City as a child—I was both a party girl and an angel in the show.