Gucci Extends Lease in Trump Tower

The day President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris inaugurated in Washington, DC, Melania and Donald Trump Airforce One left In South Florida, Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach is bound for the club’s boundaries.

He usually wore a boxy suit of uncertain origin. He wore an orange and blue color, boldly came up with a $ 3,700 Gucci Kefton pattern As is the symbol As the famous “I don’t really care, you do it” jacket she put on a trip back in 2018 to a children’s border detention center in Texas.

Recalling its comfortable lines and orange hexagons, A. David hicks The carpet, the new dress, wired the idea that Mrs. Trump was entering a new role as a person of leisure, with no care. It was a worldwide advertisement, unknowingly or not, for a brand that has a substantial connection to the Trump business.

For the past 14 years, Gucci has leased 48,667 feet at the base of Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan, making it the building’s largest commercial tenant.

Other companies leasing space with Trump have not reduced their spaces or renewed their leases. One is Nike, which closed in 2018 Niketan Place At 6 East 57th Street – a building around the corner of Trump Tower that houses the Trump Organization’s 100-year ground lease – and opened a new flagship, the so-called House of Innovation, five blocks south. (Nike spokesman then Forbes refused to address Was this move political?)

In 2019, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Reduced its appearance In Trump Tower. Tiffany, which temporarily moved to the Niketown location in 2018 while its head was being renovated, is not renewing its lease next year, Bloomberg recently reported.

But in 2020, Gucci renegotiated and extended its lease, according to two people with knowledge of the deal, both requesting that their name not be used because they are not authorized to speak about it.

The luxury company received a reduction in fares in exchange for agreeing to extend its lease beyond 2026. Trump Tower got to hold a highly desirable tenant: a brand that’s been booming since designer Alessandro Michele’s 2015 foray into creative direction, in whose presence the building helps counter the idea that its name There is nothing more than “a poor man’s idea of ​​a rich person”, in the words of Franco Pubitz.

However the players involved are not publicly talking about it.

Four days after receiving a detailed list of questions about the deal, a representative from Gucci called to say that a statement was underway within the hour. A little over an hour later, the representative called back to say that there would not actually be an arrival after all.

The Trump Organization did not respond to two requests for comment.

One possible reason: According to the person who saw the new lease, Gucci required people in the Trump Organization to sign a confidentiality agreement regarding its terms.

Nevertheless, the deal was worth Trump for reasons that are beyond symbolism.

Many luxury brands that occupy prime Manhattan retail space have reclaimed leases during the coronovirus epidemic as foot traffic has stopped. Other people have just vacated their places. This is what Ralph Lauren did at his Fifth Avenue location last November, 28,300 sq ft rentals The real deal reported for fast fashion retailer Mango was $ 5 million – $ 22 million less than Ralph Lauren.

In recent years, revenue from “The Apprentice”, Mr. Trump’s former reality show on NBC, dried up. Debt payments are due in the Trump business. The retail space in and around Trump Tower has been transformed into a lifeline, becoming Susan Craig and Ras Butner Last January wrote in The New York Times He is likely the most trusted and “largest long-term wealth creator” of his empire.

a Admission In 2012, Gucci was described as withdrawing a 20-year lease in 2006, with the Securities and Exchange Commission related to the finance of the Trump Organization. Gucci paid $ 384.40 per square foot in rent every month. This amount is an annual base rate of $ 18.7 million and accounts for about two-thirds of the total $ 29.53 million the Trump Organization has earned from its commercial tenants, according to annual filings.

Despite Gucci’s discretion, it is clear that the news of the Renaissance may affect sales. The fashion industry tends to be politically liberal, but sometimes business is just business and aesthetics goes beyond politics.

Oscar de la Renta Diametrically conflicting worldviews with bouncers among the first women. James gallenos Despite her horrific neglect of AIDS by her husband’s administration, she pledged her loyalty to Nancy Reagan. In 2019, Bernard Arnault, who owns the company LVMH Tiffany, was joined by Mr. Trump at the Louis Luiton factory in Texas and posed with him for photos.

But Mr. Trump’s divisive behavior, especially since the epidemic began and the election took place, has led activists to thwart his resolve to censure. Brands are more vulnerable than ever to the threat of boycott. Companies including Nike and twitter Linked himself to the Black Lives Matter movement.

The latest incarnation of Gucci was more racial inclusion than most high-end fashion brands.

Shortly after Mr. Mitchell became the head designer, an ironic, reference style began to do away with a haute and self-consciously aesthetic aesthetic, which could possibly be described as AT Lux, The company did an advertising campaign for the all-black model.

But it is also misquoted.

In 2017, it was called upon to release a jacket that looked like the one already designed by Dapper Dan, aka Daniel Day, wearing a black robe in Harlem. In response, the brand reached out to her, placed her in an advertisement for her men’s tailoring and collaborated with her A luxury boutique.

Soon after, it announced an initiative Gucci balance, To improve diversity and inclusion in the company.

But in 2019, Gucci pulled An $ 890 sweater was criticized for provoking blacking From the market. And its leadership team, along with its parent company, Kering, dominate white men (Kering has a black board member).

Although a decision by Gucci officials to renew the lease at 725 Fifth Avenue came to light after Capitol returned in January, before demonstrators protested with flags, Trump’s associations with Mr. Wormpacists were hardly unknown in 2020, Cali Scales said. Ms. Scales is the former managing director of Black Lives Matter Global Network and a principal at ThnkFree Global Strategies, a boutique company that guides brands such as Amazon and Sprite on marketing strategies related to social justice issues.

“This is a time,” she said, “where brands, organizations, and individuals around the world are working with racial equity to address and work out the systems that have given us the most frightening of history Moments lead to witness one of the murders – the murder George Floyd. “

As a result, she said, it was “a strange choice” for Gucci to continue to attach himself to a man who “has refused to deny white supremacy” and “by promoting racist fraternity conspiracy theories Built political equity. “

Ms. Scales’s opinion was shared by Shannon Culper, who launched the “Grab Your Wallet” campaign against which the boycott was organized Soul wheel And new Balance Those owned by the companies then donated substantial sums to Mr. Trump’s campaigns.

In an interview, Ms. Culper stated that she intentionally excluded Gucci and Naik from the boycott list. “We were very generous because we knew he signed the leases before his campaign,” she said.

Gucci’s decision to renew in 2020 was somewhat different.

“It’s disgusting,” he said. “They are essentially doing business with a white supremacist. This is what decision means. “

Nevertheless, some people directly connected to the fashion world are eager to address the potential controversy. Editors such as Harira Bazaar’s Sameera Nasar, Elle’s Nina Garcia and Vogue’s Anna Wintour have positioned themselves as defenders of racial justice. But they also rely on Gucci for advertising. Representatives of all of them declined to comment. Mr. Day did not respond to a request for comment.

Jeremy O. Harris, author of “Slave Play”, has had a contractual relationship with the house since November 2020. In general, such an arrangement involves wearing a brand of clothes for public appearances and keeping them later. “I am very proud of my relationship with him, met people and saw how they really listen and are trying to change,” he said in an interview last Friday. And “while there are some real estate moguls that have risen to the level of a semi-fascist leader like Trump, what I know are all very deeply compromised people.”

Still, Mr. Harris admitted, “It’s complicated.”

Luckily, he said, “I really only go to the Wooster Street store.”

Ben Proteas and Vanessa Freedman contributed reporting.

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