Clearly, Ivanka Trump, daughter of The Donald – former model, real estate entrepreneur, author, wife, mother and head of her own fashion empire – was equal to the challenge. It’s easy to see why. Chatting with Ivanka after she and her family joined golf great Arnold Palmer to celebrate the opening of the Arnold Palmer Villas at Trump National Doral, she is the personification of poised, cool, calm and collected. She is all these things despite her daunting schedule at events the Trumps were hosting on the property during the recent World Golf Cadillac Championship, considered one of the richest events on the PGA Tour.
“The Trump National Doral is really my home away from home in South Florida now. I have so many great memories of being here as a young girl, especially playing at the pool and enjoying the spa. I still have family photos of our time here, which include my father and his father vacationing at the resort,” says Ivanka, whose shoes, handbags, apparel, accessories, sunglasses and fragrance collections are available locally in stores like Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Lord & Taylor and Macy’s. The Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry collection can be found in South Florida at Neiman Marcus and Levinson Jewelers.
Since purchasing the former 800-acre Doral Resort & Spa property, the Trump Organization, of which Ivanka is vice president of acquisitions and development, has poured more than $250 million into its significant overhaul. The 700-room home of the historic, internationally renowned Blue Monster golf course – along with four other golf courses, a sprawling spa, ballrooms, meeting rooms and luxury guest villas – had fallen into disrepair, debt and bankruptcy. When owners Winthrop Realty put the property into bankruptcy in 2011, the Trumps were immediately interested in it, according to Forbes magazine, which credits Ivanka with negotiating the deal of a lifetime for the property: $150 million for the resort whose land alone may be worth as much as $1 billion.
Ivanka closed the deal just days after delivering her daughter, Arabella.
“I don’t really think about finding balance in my life,” says Ivanka when asked about how she manages work and family time. “It’s about having the right priorities: family first, and being where you need to be when you need to be there.”
She was at the Trump National Doral overseeing its renovation when she needed to be there as well – all while pregnant with her second child, Joseph. The effort was well worthwhile, she says, as she was able to tap into her significant art history education to give the property its sense of place in the past, present and future of golf through a restoration rooted in majestic elegance.
“Doral has had such a celebrated history for golfers and families for generations, that we didn’t want to spare any cost in its renovation – which, in some cases, took parts of the property down to its studs,” Ivanka says. “To make Trump National Doral all that it is today, I drew inspiration from the art and architecture I have seen in my travels, designing it as we would one of our homes.”
She was clearly both proud and pleased to showcase various aspects of her work at the property recently when she hosted an after-play fashion experience at the property’s fully revamped, highly sophisticated pool area. The show, which featured the latest designs by Dolce & Gabbana, displayed its highlighted apparel at numerous locations throughout the pool area, which guests were encouraged to appreciate.
The event is just one example of how Ivanka exemplifies style and substance in her life. She explains how she marries both concepts in numerous aspects of her website: ivankatrump.com, described as a place to celebrate “women working at all aspects of their lives. Women who transition between their various roles in professional and personal capacities: building careers, raising children, nurturing relationships and pursuing passions.”
On the site, she says she created the Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry collection in 2007 because she was drawn to the idea of creating a jewelry line for women buying for themselves. She believes that the concept of a self-purchasing female was lost among the traditional jewelers, who catered their business almost exclusively to men.
Next, she launched her brand of fashion accessories because she felt there wasn’t any existing brand that addressed the needs of the modern professional woman who appreciated “appropriately sexy and accessibly priced shoes and handbags�. With the hallmarks of fresh design and fuss-free practicality, her brand widely expanded into a full line of fashion accessories, as well as home appointments.
The web site is clearly part of Ivanka’s mission to advance the conversation about how women see themselves in the roles of self, wife, mother, business leader and style appreciator. While navigating a schedule that encourages life harmony – all roles considered – her advice, not surprisingly, is simple and to the point.
“See your effort to manage all of these things as a work in progress. There will always be a need to do some re-calibrating of your schedule,” she says. “As long as you remain true to your priorities in the process, it will work for you. Often, right when I think I’ve figured out a schedule, my children’s schedules change and so I’m making changes again. But that’s OK. This is how we are the architects of our own calendars.” ?
5 Things You Might Not Know About Ivanka
Together with her brothers Eric and Donald Jr., Ivanka founded the Trump Collection, considered the fastest-growing luxury hotel brand in the world.
Although her business degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business is widely recognized, she minored in art history and loves all aspects of history in general.
One of her favorite activities is gardening with her daughter, Arabella.
Her book, “The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life,” is a New York Times bestseller.
Ivanka’s husband, Jared Kushner, owns The New York Observer.