For a brief time at the dawn of the new administration, a QVC jewelry line was touted on the White House website.
The TV shopping network was originally part of the extensive biography of new first lady Melania Trump that appeared on the site. It includes her years of modeling and the name of several magazine covers she has appeared on and photographers she has worked with. It also noted on the day of the inauguration that she’s an entrepreneur: “In April 2010, Melania Trump launched her own jewelry collection, ‘Melania™ Timepieces & Jewelry,’ on QVC.” But, according to The Washington Post, that portion was quickly changed to: “In April 2010, Melania Trump launched her own jewelry collection.”
Someone may have decided the QVC pitch didn’t have the right decorum for a first lady’s biography — or it could be because QVC currently has no connection to a Melania Trump jewelry line. “At this time, QVC does not have an active relationship with the brand,” according to a statement from the company.
A YouTube video from 2012 reveals her one-time “sparkly” QVC line with different designs based on the idea of New York, Palm Beach and Paris looks.
The bio also notably mentions that the first lady “paused” her college studies to pursue a modeling career. During Trump’s campaign, her bio said she was a college graduate.
The mention of the jewelry line on the White House website underscores concerns that the Trump family will use its political position for private financial gain, even if Melania Trump’s QVC line isn’t currently available for purchase. The line in that bio is reminiscent of Trump’s daughter Ivanka’s appearance with her father after the election on “60 Minutes.” She wore an $11,000 bracelet from her own jewelry line that was touted the next day in a mass email advertisement. After criticism, a spokesman for her company said the pitch was mistakenly forwarded by an over-eager marketing employee.
Ivanka’s company also touted a dress she wore at the Republican National Convention, which sold out.
Paul Light, a New York University professor of public service, who’s an expert on presidential transitions and government reform, told The Huffington Post at that time that what Ivanka Trump’s brand did before her father was president may have been legal, but it looks “tacky.”
“Presidents represent the nation, as do their spouses and children,” Light wrote in an email. “The White House is not a shopping mall.”
Ivanka Trump’s situation also changed dramatically when she became a member of her father’s transition team.