“Supreme multitasker” doesn’t even begin to describe Forbes Travel Guide Tastemaker Ivanka Trump. Between her role as executive vice president of development and acquisitions of The Trump Organization, running an eponymous retail empire encompassing shoes, handbags, fragrances, jewelry and apparel, and raising a young daughter (with another child due this fall with husband Jared Kushner), Trump is one busy woman. But we still managed to catch up with the lifestyle mogul to discuss her brand-new sunglasses line — which consists of 10 boutique styles and 20 frames from the core collection — that launched in April and is available at retailers such as Lord & Taylor, as well as what else she has ahead for 2013.
We heard the news about your pregnancy. Congratulations! What are a few things you’ve learned to make the balancing act between your personal life and the task of running a business work so well?
I’ve learned to become incredibly efficient. Proximity is key — nothing beats living close enough to the office so that I can run home in between meetings some days for a few precious moments with Arabella. Obviously being a mother is my priority, but my work is so fulfilling. It’s all about balance, and whether I’m at home or at work, I know how important it is to be present and maximize my time.
Your sunglasses line is only adding to the excitement of your empire. Why do you think now is a good time for you to introduce them?
The Ivanka Trump brand has experienced a tremendous amount of growth in the last few seasons, which has allowed us to evolve into a lifestyle brand with product offerings across the board. Eyewear is a very important category and will contribute to our existing accessories lines and with spring in full bloom, I’m thrilled to see the collection in stores.
What were your inspirations behind the new sunglasses designs?
My boutique collection features details found in my fine jewelry line — these frames are an extension of celebrated groups including Crossover, Double Oval, Octagonal, Pearl and Couture. The Art Deco-inspired collection also presents a range of shapes, including aviators, cat-eyes and oversized styles. The color palette is understated, with an emphasis on various tortoise iterations, black, ivory and bone with pops of my signature coral.
When it comes to high-end shades, consumers have a number of options out there. What separates your line from the rest of the crowd?
I believe I have created a gorgeous collection of sunglasses that are wearable classics with a modern and feminine twist. The quality and fit are two aspects of the collection of which I’m especially proud. Each style seems special and different to me — from delicate cutouts on the temples to Austrian crystal detailing. My collection offers the discerning customer a way to protect her eyes in style.
Just looking at the sunglasses landscape overall, what seem to be the hot trends for summer?
For me, it’s less about what’s trending and more about selecting styles that are flattering. Right now I love the fact that understated, neutral color palettes are popular [think ivory, bone, honey tortoise], as well as the use of rose gold metal detailing. I tend to favor the more simple styles that have subtle details that make them special.
What are your all-time favorite sunglasses and why?
It depends on the style I’m going for but right now I love the “Paige,” which is a fun but very classic aviator pair, or the glam and oversized “Sasha” frame. There are too many great ones to choose from, honestly!
With a growing family and an ever-expanding business, do you have the time or energy for anything else in 2013? Do you have any other major plans for the year?
Our massive $200 million renovation of the 800-acre Doral resort in Miami began in March, so I will be spending a lot of time commuting to Miami to oversee the project. The resort was once the pinnacle of luxury in south Florida and my family and I fully intend on restoring that reputation… and then some. I’ll also be spending quite a bit of time in Washington, D.C. as our plans for the redevelopment of the landmarked Old Post Office move forward. I’m very excited to be spearheading this project as well, along with my father and brothers.
Photos Courtesy of The Trump Organization