Ivanka Trump is profiled in today's New York Times Thursday Styles section, an event that happens to coincide with an Andre Leon Talley profile in next month's Vogue. What's the occasion? What's the new thing she's promoting? Is there a fragrance, a clothing line? A line of jewelry? Well, yeah and yeah and yeah and duh, but what she's really promoting, you see, is her own capacity for promoting. ("Clearly, Ms. Trump has inherited her father's prodigious flair for self-promotion.") But here's the twist. By making the centerpiece of her public identity the fact that she's so much more than just the real estate magnate's hot daughter, she perpetuates the long ago-punctured myth Donald is, in fact, a real estate magnate. Guys, the reason she won't let you "sit in" on her deal meetings and "declined to give numbers"on her real estate business is because she doesn't want to reveal that every deal the Trump Organization engages itself in is a glorified endorsement contract! Do you think they really give that much of a shit who builds their luxury condo buildings for them? Let's look at one of the deals Andre touts in his glowing profile, the Trump Tower Philadelphia.
Yeah, I must admit this subject is close to my "heart." I wrote a story about the Trumps once. And while I wouldn't normally do something so shamefully self-promotional as link back to my own story on the topic, I tried to apply that logic to the subject of the Trump family and it somehow did not take. Here is the gist: Ivanka helped ink a deal to do a building in Philadelphia with a real estate developer named Raoul Goldberg who was just two years fresh from prison for ECSTASY TRAFFICKING. Admittedly, he was hot.
When we spoke, Goldberg said Multi-Capital was also in talks to do Trump projects in Boston and Seattle and that the company was one of the major groups helping The Donald to develop a new image. What he would not say was how he knows Donald Trump, who his investors are, or who his family—whom he credits for getting him into the real estate business—is. This is probably because his family was named "Goldberger," not Goldberg. Until 2003, when he still went by the name Raoul Goldberger, he was primarily known as an up-and-coming drug trafficker who had been busted after a yearlong federal investigation for attempting to ship tens of thousands of ecstasy pills from Belgium.
Goldberger's lawyer made the case that young Raoul had been hurt at an early age by his parents' divorce and stung by a breakup with a young woman of mixed race who did not win his family's approval because she was not Jewish. Although he was sentenced to 46 months in 2000, he was released early in part because of a rare liver and spleen condition called Gaucher disease that he had been diagnosed with. After his release in 2002, he was supposed to be supervised for five years, but got a special dispensation to move to Belgium to pursue a business opportunity with his cousin Charles Goldberg. Somewhere along the way, he took the name Goldberg.
But fuck if the child ain't a genius at diverting the subject to talking about what a whiz at branding she is!
A full wall in her office is papered with magazine covers emblazoned with her image: Southern Seasons, on the occasion of a new Trump project in Atlanta; New York magazine; and Elle Mexico. ("That last allowed us to appeal to a female buyer," she said.)
Each cover, she said, represents a calculated effort to promote the family name. "What other developer could generate that sort of publicity for free?"
I dunno, maybe if they made one named "Hilton"?
Oh, also in the Vogue story, she swears off "logo bags."