The California shop claims that the First Daughter’s business is getting an unfair advantage from her position.
Controversy continues to follow Ivanka Trump and her brand. This week’s adversary is Modern Appealing Clothing (MAC), a San Francisco boutique that has filed a class action lawsuit against the First Daughter, as reported by Courtroom News Service.
Their claim is that Ivanka’s position as daughter of the President of the United States and wife to the President’s advisor, Jared Kushner, gives her an unfair advantage over competitors—and that she has committed unfair business practices and conspiracy.
The suit claims that Ivanka’s sales have “surged several hundred percent” since the November election. While suing a brand for having a high-profile namesake is hardly substantial, the court filings also cite President Trump’s tweets attacking Nordstrom for dropping her clothing line and Conway’s on-air plug advising Americans to “go buy Ivanka’s stuff” as examples of Ivanka’s upper hand.
Conway's actions were criticized as direct ethics violations.
The lawsuit also alleges that those associated with the Ivanka Trump brand "knowingly and willingly conspired" to damage MAC financially through their business practices.
The suit does not call for specific monetary damages, as “the plaintiff’s losses as a result of defendants’ unfair business practices are subtle and difficult to quantify.”
Instead, they ask that the court remedy the situation by essentially outlawing Ivanka’s products from being sold in California.
MAC has two clothing and accessories boutiques in San Francisco, according to their website, but the suit seeks to represent all women’s clothing and accessory companies that operated in California between the day after the election through the date of the trial.
“I think it is a bit difficult to predict how this will turn out, particularly given the balance of powers at play,” says Julie Zerbo, founder and editor-in-chief of The Fashion Law, and a contributor to the "Law Review" column in Women’s Wear Daily.
“In order to avoid having the case dismissed early on, the plaintiffs have something of an uphill battle here, as they will have to prove that Trump’s company planned to commit a crime (that is for the conspiracy charge) and also, that the brand has engaged in illegal, fraudulent, and/or ‘unfair’ business practices.”
“Legally, it is not enough to point to increased interest in the Ivanka Trump brand as a result of the election and subsequent start of the Trump presidency, and cite unfair competition and conspiracy,” says Zerbo. “It will be interesting to see how this develops!”
Indeed. What do you think—does this case have merit or not?