Interview by Courtney Bannerot
Young. Rich. Beautiful. Brilliant. But Ivanka Trump is no heiress about town, resting on her Daughter-of-the-Donald laurels. This 29-year-old summa cum laude Wharton grad has racked up an impressive list of accomplishments: head of U.S. and international expansion for the Trump Organization’s real estate holdings, book author, founder of a luxury jewelry line, a Champion of the UN Foundation’s Girl Up Campaign, newlywed (husband is New York Observer owner Jared Kushner). Now about to launch a shoe and handbag line, Ivanka shares what motivates her. Read the interview, then shop Ivanka’s favorites (see below).
Courtney Bannerot: What inspired you to start Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry?
Ivanka Trump: I’ve always had a passion for jewelry. I wanted to make women of my time feel comfortable buying fine jewelry, and I wanted to give them the ultimate shopping experience. My mother’s legacy jewelry collection always inspired me. And my love for the classic aesthetic helped propel my vision. I realized the luxury fine jewelry market was missing a fresh, young design approach. That’s where my jewelry line’s vision of “Rock Tradition” plays a vital role—it’s a modern twist on jewelry’s most important classic.
CB: Do you design the pieces?
IT: I work closely with an in-house designer, who is able to take my vision and inspiration and create sketches. I am deeply involved in approving sketches, making changes, and adding and subtracting from the designs before they are finalized.
CB: How would you describe the style, and how does it reflect you?
IT: Heirloom chic is the creative vision behind my jewelry line. It’s the youthful reinvention of important legacy jewelry. Heirloom chic puts a modern twist on classic jewelry, capturing a sense of fine workmanship, tradition, and an off-hand elegance.
CB: What are your favorite pieces?
IT: My favorite pieces from the 2010 collection are the Tassels, the Black Onyx Bead Necklace with Signature Oval Diamond Clasp, and the Signature Ovals. The Multi-Strand Diamond Bead Bracelet is definitely a show-stopper and an architectural achievement in jewelry design.
CB: How does your line fit the fall fashion trends?
IT: My 2010 collection has amazing black onyx pieces that chicly accessorize any fall trend, in addition to vibrant rose gold pieces that can glam up a pair of leather leggings and a fur vest. The collection is so versatile!
CB: What are your favorite fall trends?
IT: Olive color and leopard print!
CB: What is your most recent purchase?
IT: I just bought myself and several of my friends the Ivanka Trump Girl Up Bracelet, which supports the UN Foundation’s Girl Up Campaign. I’m very proud to be a Girl Up Champion and a founding partner with the UN Foundation’s Girl Up Campaign. The bracelet retails for $30 and is available for purchase on my website.
CB: What is your typical workday like?
IT: Every day’s schedule is different. I wake up, exercise, and read through a copious amount of newspapers. I arrive at the office somewhere between 7:30 and 8:00 a.m. My brothers and I are always the first ones in. My days are often filled with a large volume of meetings, everything from hotel design to building management to jewelry initiatives to new deal development to marketing strategy, and often filming for The Apprentice. I try to stick to a very strict schedule, and I am never late. This is something that I learned from my father. I also try to schedule some time between those meetings to return phone calls and emails, as I think it is very important to respond to direct correspondence in a timely manner.
CB: What do you do in your free time?
IT: Hang out with my husband, my family, and my girlfriends. I cook often and have people over for dinner at least once a week—it’s a great way to catch up!
Shop Ivanka’s Picks from Her Jewelry Line
Mixed Size Onyx Bead Necklace with Signature Oval Diamond Clasp, $3,950
Multi-Strand Diamond Bead Bracelet, price upon request
Long Black Onyx Drop Earrings on Diamond French Wire, $1,200
Small Rose Gold, Mixed Cut Rock Crystal and Diamond Hoop Earrings, $2,250
Girl Up Bracelet, $30