The fashion world is pretty ready to shun her. No one is going to lend Ivanka clothing — she’ll have to buy it covertly at retail. — Batsheva Hay, a young independent fashion designer
The fashion world is pretty ready to shun her. No one is going to lend Ivanka clothing — she’ll have to buy it covertly at retail. — Batsheva Hay, a young independent fashion designer
Will Manhattan’s Elite Really Spurn Ivanka and Jared (and Their Money)?
“Jared and Ivanka are poised to return to a Manhattan social scene that no longer welcomes them.” So declared a CNN headline that offered a wish-fulfillment response to questions so many New Yorkers have been tossing over obsessively in the aftermath of the election: Will Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner move back to a city stewing in its sense of betrayal? And what would their lives look like if they did?

Paradoxically, it is their most impassioned detractors — concentrated in 20 or so ZIP codes in Manhattan and Brooklyn — who seem to really want them back, who crave a theater of ostracism that would feel like retribution, a show staged multiple times a day on sidewalks, in the city’s boardrooms and dining rooms, in showrooms, parks, galleries, artists’ studios; vignettes of humiliation in perpetual review on Instagram and Page Six.

“I have had visions of Ivanka with her thousand-dollar hair and makeup trying to show up at the opera like that and getting ejected,” Jill Kargman, a longtime social figure on the Upper East Side told me. “The poetic justice is that coming to New York would put them in a kind of prison already.”

Theoretically, the couple could move anywhere — and they might go to Florida or New Jersey or somewhere else entirely. New York, where the performative distaste for the couple is unsurpassed, would present the greatest challenges — where to eat, entertain themselves, get their hair glossed to an ice-rink finish. Where could they walk freely in the center of the resistance?

... Ms. Trump has long maintained connections to the worlds of art and fashion, but those paths to re-entry seem to have run dry. Should she and her husband return to New York, they would be coming back in the age of cancel culture. Though the couple are known collectors, art galleries might turn them away rather than risk landing their names in the news for selling to them, Mike De Paola, a collector of contemporary art and member of various museum boards, observed. “I know many galleries that would go out of business before they would take Trump money,” he told me.

... The fashion industry, too, will present obstacles. Batsheva Hay is a young independent designer roughly Ms. Trump’s age who is favored by awards committees and celebrities and magazine editors. “The fashion world is pretty ready to shun her,” Ms. Hay told me. “No one is going to lend Ivanka clothing — she’ll have to buy it covertly at retail.”

And what of Mr. Kushner’s real-estate empire, which he ran for his family after his father was sent to prison? That landscape, too, is very different, devastated by the pandemic. Just this week a Brooklyn judge granted class-action status to a lawsuit claiming that Kushner Companies bypassed rent stabilization guidelines on a building it owns in Brooklyn. A lawyer for the firm called it baseless and accused the plaintiffs’ “enablers” of acting out of political motivation.