What Ivanka Trump Can’t Sell

Ms. Trump describes herself as a feminist, and while her feminism might not be a type that Betty Friedan or Gloria Steinem would recognize, it’s a mercantile variety that is familiar to the women the Ivanka Trump brand hopes to reach.

.. The defining feature of mercantile feminism is its use of values — those of political, social and economic equality for women — to make money. And it works only for individuals and brands with real credibility.

.. But now, as the accumulated effects of her father’s campaign sink in, Ms. Trump is testing the limit of how far she can take her mercantile feminism.

.. Shannon Coulter, a San Francisco-based marketing executive who, a few weeks ago, started a campaign, #GrabYourWallet, to boycott the 21 retailers, including Lord & Taylor, Zappos, Nordstrom and Macy’s, that carry Ms. Trump’s wares.

.. George Stephanopoulos asked Ms. Trump about the boycott. Ms. Trump, who did not look pleased, said, “People who are seeking to politicize it because they disagree with the politics of my father — there’s nothing I can do to change that.”

.. But Ms. Trump ..  is showing her true colors.

.. Yet at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit in the middle of October, Ms. Trump said of her father, “I’m sure he didn’t remember” his conversation with Billy Bush. As Gabriel Sherman at New York Magazine reported recently, Ms. Trump took her father’s side after the tape became public and insisted that he had to fight back. (She also said he had to apologize.)

.. “I think what Ivanka is doing is extremely cynical,” said Kim France, the founding editor of Lucky, a shopping magazine for young women. “It’s not female empowerment, it’s business.”

.. Her editorial director, Sarah Warren, recently said that web traffic is “through the roof” and the company’s newsletter database is 275 percent bigger than it was last year. “You couldn’t pay for this visibility,”

.. after the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape, 75 percent of Democratic women said they would not purchase clothes from Ivanka Trump’s clothing line, compared with close to 60 percent of independent women and a third of Republican women.