Ivanka Trump is facing criticism for posting a photo of herself wearing a $5,000 gown on Saturday, after her father, President Donald Trump, signed an executive order that barred citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US.
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) January 29, 2017
Critics are slamming the glamorous photo — which also features her tuxedo-wearing husband, Jared Kushner — as “sickening” and “tone-deaf” at a time when immigrants are being detained at airports across the US as a result of the executive order.
But one brand expert thinks the photo could be a brilliant and deliberate move designed to distance Ivanka from her father’s policies.
“The dress picture says ‘I don’t necessarily want to be associated or aligned with the Trump administration,'” said Eric Schiffer, CEO of Reputation Management Consultants, which works with companies to overcome crises. “It shows that she is doing things that are asynchronistic, or not connected to Trump’s actions.”
Ivanka stepped away from her brand in January and has said she would not take a position in her father’s administration. Kushner is a senior White House adviser.
This wouldn’t be the first time Ivanka has distanced herself from her father’s politics.
The New York Times reported in November that Ivanka had discouraged the campaign from promoting a TV ad, in which she urged voters to support him, for fear that it would damage her business.
While Ivanka’s photo may have been a similar effort to separate herself from her father, it also triggered widespread backlash on social media.
Many people said it was insensitive, and some tweeted the photo of Ivanka in her metallic dress next to a photo of a young refugee wrapped in a foil blanket.
— Geoff Crawley (@VoiceOfThePhan) January 29, 2017