portraits by TERRY RICHARDSON
style by NATASHA ROYT
interview by SABINE HELLER
The sexy daughter of billionaire Donald Trump, IVANKA TRUMP is not only proving she’s no longer just daddy’s little go-getter — she’s redefining the ’80s power woman. We wanted to know a little bit more about this charming young woman. Is she the anti-Paris Hilton? The darling of lonely CEOs everywhere? The face of American post-capitalism? What is certain is that Ivanka is ambitious, hard working, tough as nails, and has a rockin’ body. The sound you hear is a world of macho men falling at her feet.
SABINE HELLER — What are you most passionate about?
IVANKA TRUMP — Real estate.
SABINE HELLER — I hear you’re running the show now.
IVANKA TRUMP — I’m the Executive VP of Development and Acquisitions at the Trump Organization and also president of Ivanka Trump Jewelry.
SABINE HELLER — How many hours a day do you work on average?
IVANKA TRUMP — 12 to 14 hours.
SABINE HELLER — And sleep?
IVANKA TRUMP — I don’t get much. I’m a terrible insomniac.
SABINE HELLER — It seems like money is a religion for your family.
IVANKA TRUMP — No, I would say that real estate is. Work is. Wealth is a positive side effect and a validation that we’re doing things right, but in and of itself, money doesn’t drive any of us. It doesn’t drive my father; it doesn’t drive my mother. It’s the passion for what they do. This is something I’ve learned from my father: the number one thing in life is to love what you do. Because if you don’t, there will always be someone who is less intelligent than you, but more driven, who will work you under the table. I see it every day. I’ll get the better of somebody in the context of a negotiation because I will work harder at it. I’m more determined. I’m more
dogged. I’m more passionate. They may have a higher I.Q., but I will ultimately end up being victorious. I don’t think that you can bring that level of intensity to the table if you don’t really love it.
SABINE HELLER — Were you scared for your family fortune when Lehman went down?
IVANKA TRUMP — Yes. What happened was unprecedented. You look around the world, and no corner is untouched. It was beyond talking about Moscow collapsing — Russia was collapsing. And South America, and China. Oil prices ricocheting, interest rates ricocheting. It was probably the first time in my life, and in the lives of the people I speak to within the financial community for whom I have a lot of respect, that there was zero consensus. People didn’t even pretend to give an opinion because nobody knew what the hell was happening. It’s a scary time. But from my vantage point we’ve been very conservative, which gives us flexibility.
SABINE HELLER — Which parent are you closest to?
IVANKA TRUMP — I’m close to both of them. Right now I’m extremely close to my dad because I work with him and we can talk about business. That’s such an important part of his life, and an important part of mine now. It’s always fodder for a good dinner conversation.
SABINE HELLER — Is it complicated to work for your father?
IVANKA TRUMP — It’s always complicated in a family business. You have to be careful not to take your closeness for granted. One of the great things is candor. If I disagree with him, I will press him in an obnoxious way. But you’re still working for your father, so you have to learn to be desensitized. If he’s upset about something, I have to be clear if it’s him as my dad or him as my boss. You have to make the delineation if you’re going to stay sane.
SABINE HELLER — How is he as a boss?
IVANKA TRUMP — He doesn’t like to see people make mistakes. People ask me all the time if his validation is important to me — and it is, 100 percent.
SABINE HELLER — How many people do you oversee, and how many projects are you currently working on?
IVANKA TRUMP — We have over 12,000 employees and over 70 active jobs, from Scotland to Panama to Dubai.
SABINE HELLER — Did you follow a predictable path or was it self-determined?
IVANKA TRUMP — I think that it was partly in my blood. I’ve known since I was a kid that this was the right path for me. That rightness is confirmed by the fact that I’m enjoying myself so much. I’m doing what I was meant to do.
SABINE HELLER — What are your main character traits?
IVANKA TRUMP — I have always been very driven, very energetic, maybe overly so. Very passionate. I’ve always had a very clear focus of what I’ve wanted to do.
SABINE HELLER — Where did you grow up?
IVANKA TRUMP — I grew up in New York, and I went to boarding school in Connecticut.
SABINE HELLER — What are your earliest memories?
IVANKA TRUMP — I remember traipsing behind my mother as she did her rounds at the Plaza. I was a legitimate Eloise, running through the hotel. Otherwise, Trump Tower has been the epicenter of my life for as long as I can remember. I grew up there. My father’s office was there. After the divorce, he moved a few floors lower, to where my office is now.
SABINE HELLER — Are you nostalgic about your childhood?
IVANKA TRUMP — Not particularly, even though I had a great one, magical in some ways. I think I’m having more fun now than I’ve ever had in my life.
SABINE HELLER — Are you a nostalgic person in general?
IVANKA TRUMP — Not at all. The great thing about remembering is not the sentimentality of it, but the lessons you learn along the way. You think about things, and you hope that it helps you to grow as a human being. Most of my reflections are about things I’ve done wrong in the past, hoping I won’t repeat those mistakes in the future.
SABINE HELLER — What do you love most about the bedroom in which you grew up?
IVANKA TRUMP — It’s a time capsule. My father kept it exactly as it was. I had everything from Garbage Pail Kids to My Little Ponies to Mötley Crüe and Poison posters on the wall.
SABINE HELLER — Who was your first crush?
IVANKA TRUMP — Bon Jovi. I loved him. I remember my dad forged an autograph from him and wrote, “You’re great, and I can’t wait to meet you when you grow up.” But then he signed it, “Don Bon Jovi.” It was a funny slip.
SABINE HELLER — Were your parents strict?
IVANKA TRUMP — They were a different kind of strict. It’s not like I couldn’t eat certain kinds of foods, or not go to movies that were R-rated. They didn’t really care about things like that. But they had high expectations when it came to how I conducted myself. There was never a certain time when I had to be home, but I knew when it was too late.
SABINE HELLER — Were you a spoiled child?
IVANKA TRUMP — Relative to some of my peers, I wasn’t. Relative to the world at large, I was. I lived a very comfortable life that had a lot of privilege, but I don’t think I acted extremely entitled.
SABINE HELLER — You certainly had some perks. How old were you when you attended your first fashion show?
IVANKA TRUMP — I went to Paris for the couture collections with my mother when I was six or seven.
SABINE HELLER — Did you sit in the front row?
IVANKA TRUMP — Oh yeah, definitely.
SABINE HELLER — What was your outfit like?
IVANKA TRUMP — I remember my mom had this Versace shirt that I wanted to wear to some of the shows. She allowed me to wear it, and tied it up in a center knot. I ran into Valentino in the lobby of the Ritz after his show and he looked at me and said, “Next time you have to borrow things from me, not Versace!” And I remember thinking, “That’s so cool!”
SABINE HELLER — Did you take him up on his offer?
IVANKA TRUMP — Yes, I wear Valentino all the time. He probably regrets having extended himself!
SABINE HELLER — Who else do you wear?
IVANKA TRUMP — Brian Reyes is a wonderful young designer. I like Alberta Ferretti gowns. For work attire, I love Dolce & Gabbana, for the sexy, clean lines of their suits, which are very empowering.
SABINE HELLER — Where did you acquire your lovely manners?
IVANKA TRUMP — My mother — she’s quite a formal person.
SABINE HELLER — Did you have an ugly-duckling-turns-into-a-swan transition or were you always beautiful?
IVANKA TRUMP — I followed the normal female trajectory. I experienced heightened insecurity during the awkward years of adolescence, which later settled into a general level of comfort and acceptance of myself.
SABINE HELLER — And you were a model.
IVANKA TRUMP — Yes, I became a model at 14. I was a baby. My first shoot was for Elle with Gilles Bensimon.
SABINE HELLER — Did you love it?
IVANKA TRUMP — I did, but it was more that I was trapped in boarding school and looking for a way to escape the monotony than looking for a career in itself.
SABINE HELLER — What is your most embarrassing school moment?
IVANKA TRUMP — My first day of boarding school I was wearing a wrap skirt and a backpack and I walked half way across campus before realizing that my skirt was half a mile back. That was awkward. It literally was the nightmare you have before your first day of school — your clothes fall off and you’re standing there naked. Except that it really happened to me.
SABINE HELLER — What was the most difficult part of growing up as a Trump?
IVANKA TRUMP — The public focus on our comings and goings.
SABINE HELLER — You must have felt as if you were in a fishbowl.
IVANKA TRUMP — Yes, but I don’t complain about these things too much because it works tremendously to our advantage, especially now that I’m in the business and have the ability to promote our projects. It bothers me when famous actors complain about how the paparazzi focuses on their lives, and then they kowtow to them when they’re promoting their movie. But there are times when it’s definitely challenging, especially when you’re going through personal family things and you would like it to remain private.
SABINE HELLER — With all the public comings and goings, were you ever embarrassed by your family?
IVANKA TRUMP — My parents are such characters. They’re so blunt. Having spent some time with my mom, you probably saw a tremendous amount of exuberance and energy. People either love my parents or don’t know how to handle them. In terms of me being embarrassed by them, yeah, I was. But it’s the human condition to always be somewhat embarrassed by your parents when you’re a child.
SABINE HELLER — Do you watch “Gossip Girl?” How closely do you think it resembles our upbringing in New York?
IVANKA TRUMP — I’m mortified to admit it, but, yes, I love it! The show is a caricature of a unique New York experience, albeit one that is more akin to reality today than when we were growing up. I look at friends’ younger sisters and they’re wearing Chanel, whereas with us, we were psyched if we got a Chanel fragrance or deodorant. Maybe by the time we were in high school we had moved up to the branded accessory.
SABINE HELLER — Yeah, I remember there was a Kate Spade handbag moment.
IVANKA TRUMP — Kate Spade was huge! But that was very different from 15-year-old girls today running around today with Balenciaga bags. There’s been a big shift from when we were in school.
SABINE HELLER — Have you been judged harshly for having led a life of privilege?
IVANKA TRUMP — Yes, but people are easier on me now.
SABINE HELLER — What effect did people’s criticism have on you?
IVANKA TRUMP — I used the judgments and condescension of others to motivate myself,
to push harder, to do more. It made me defiantly ambitious. But for the most part, ambition is a natural part of my temperament. I expect a lot from myself. But, yes, there is something extremely motivating about knowing that people are underestimating you.
SABINE HELLER — Your family has risen out of the ashes several times. What lessons have you learned from what’s happened with the ecomomy?
IVANKA TRUMP — One of the great lessons I’ve learned from all of this is to never listen to the people who say that this is never going to happen again. I never particularity listened to them to begin with. It was shocking, the number of incredibly intelligent people who said that the levers that could be pulled within the markets today ensured that we would never repeat a Great Depression type of situation. Or that we could never have another recession that was akin to the one we had in the 1970s. Obviously, that’s just not true.
SABINE HELLER — How bad do you think things really are?
IVANKA TRUMP — We’re in a fucking recession! It’s bad, and I think it’s going to get a lot worse. We’re in a bear market.
SABINE HELLER — And the silver lining?
IVANKA TRUMP — The greatest opportunities exist in times like these, if you’re in a position to take advantage of them. The tragedy is when 100 percent of your energy is spent digging yourself out of the hole. It’s important not to throw up your hands and give up. You have to continue to work your ass off to emerge from this unscathed. It’s in these times that dynastic fortunes are created. You’re not going to make a lot of money by buying at the height of the market. You’re going to make a lot of money buying and starting companies now. By developing the idea, the concept, and being ready for the next cycle, because it will swing back.
SABINE HELLER — A friend described you as a man in a hot girl’s body. How do you feel about that?
IVANKA TRUMP — I certainly don’t think that I have to be masculine to be successful in a male-oriented business. When I was growing up I was a tomboy in spirit, playing with dump trucks and Matchbox cars, but I’d be doing so in a lacy white Bonpoint dress. It was never easy to reconcile that duality. I learned a lot of that from my mother. I hold to a very modern definition of a woman — strong, powerful, and feminine in expression. A woman who can rely on herself to get to where she needs to be.
SABINE HELLER — What is it like to be at a construction site wearing high heels and a skirt, surrounded by guys in hard hats?
IVANKA TRUMP — I’ve ridden up a hoist or two in stilettos. I have boots and flats at the office which I change into if I have time, but sometimes I have to make an unexpected trip. I definitely recognize that I stand out like a sore thumb, but I don’t think about it too much.
SABINE HELLER — Are you a feminist?
IVANKA TRUMP — “Feminist” is a very unmodern term. I expect a date to open the door for me. I expect a date to pay for dinner. Do I think I’m any less competent than a man in a business setting? No. Do I wear pink? Yes.
SABINE HELLER — Who are your style icons?
IVANKA TRUMP — I love Grace Kelly. I love Audrey Hepburn. I love that look and sensibility. When it comes to empowered female role models, Oprah is phenomenal, especially in terms of harnessing her power and doing good.
SABINE HELLER — What’s sexy?
IVANKA TRUMP — Confidence. From a purely fashion perspective, it’s someone who can wear anything effortlessly. Look at Kate Moss. I would look ridiculous trying to wear some of the outfits she wears. She can pull it off because she exudes confidence. That’s really what it all comes down to.
SABINE HELLER — Do you ever become unhinged?
IVANKA TRUMP — There are definitely times when I want to punch a pillow, but I try to control myself.
SABINE HELLER — Your father never drinks. Do you party?
IVANKA TRUMP — I’ve never been much of a partier. Partying was never a major part of my life. I don’t drink a lot. I’ve always preferred quiet settings, like dinners. There was a period in my life when I went out a lot, probably more than I actually enjoyed, simply because it was a rite of passage.
SABINE HELLER — How do you let off steam?
IVANKA TRUMP — I love biking in the park. This week I biked 25 miles, up to and over the George Washington Bridge into Palisades Park, and wound up in the town of Piedmont, New Jersey for dinner. Otherwise, I love going to dinner with friends, and brunch with girlfriends on Sunday before I go to the office. Sunday afternoon is my favorite time to get work done.
SABINE HELLER — What makes you tick?
IVANKA TRUMP — Love for what I’m doing. Because I don’t have a lot of free time, I really try to live on my own terms. I only put myself in situations that I’ll enjoy. I wring all that I can out of life.
SABINE HELLER — What’s the quality in people that you most dislike?
IVANKA TRUMP — I don’t like people who are disingenuous. With all the glamour and all the excitement that comes with being a Trump in New York, I see my fair share of insincerity, and it’s very unappealing. But I have a very good radar to detect it.
SABINE HELLER — Are you ever afraid of being used by friends?
IVANKA TRUMP — I don’t know what they would use me for, other than my friendship. When I go out to dinner with my girlfriends, they don’t expect me to pick up the check. That’s not the relationship we have. We go out to dinner and we hand the waiter five credit cards, just like we did when we were 14. I don’t provide a lifestyle for my friends. I’m excited if they want to come with me to Florida, but we all have to get our own tickets. I think that a lot of young people in the entertainment business have a group of friends who use them. Because they give those friends the ability to use them.
SABINE HELLER — Are most of your friends from school?
IVANKA TRUMP — Yes, a lot of them are from Chapin.
SABINE HELLER — What’s been your biggest let-down?
IVANKA TRUMP — When people disappoint you, it’s always difficult. When people prove themselves not to be great friends. Not in terms of them using you, but in their not stepping up when you need them the most. I think that interpersonal disappointments are always the greatest ones — when someone is not quite what you wanted them to be, what you thought they were.
SABINE HELLER — What’s your greatest fear?
IVANKA TRUMP — Mediocrity. Not being bad enough to be fired by my father and not being good enough to achieve an autonomous level of success — just floating somewhere in between. Another fear of mine is not to have love and happiness. I have them in my life now and I hope that they’ll always stay.
SABINE HELLER — Do you always get what you want?
IVANKA TRUMP — I’d like to think so. I’m pretty persuasive.
SABINE HELLER — Have you ever had your heart broken, or been dumped?
IVANKA TRUMP — No. There were times when I did things in the effort to have somebody dump me so I wouldn’t have to be the one who did it.
SABINE HELLER — It seems that the whole world is under the assumption that you’re marrying Jared Kushner.
IVANKA TRUMP — It’s quite incredible, but no one has actually asked me if I’m really engaged. And, no, I’m not engaged!
SABINE HELLER — To be honest, I’ve been confused about what’s going on with your marital status.
IVANKA TRUMP — So have I. Damn it, talk about pressure!
SABINE HELLER — I’m sure the mix-up comes from the fact that you’re converting to Judaism, and Jared’s family is Orthodox.
IVANKA TRUMP — I am converting. I don’t want to talk about the experience, though. There are certain doors that once you open, you can never close.
SABINE HELLER — What would you most like to change about yourself?
IVANKA TRUMP — I have to remind myself to chill a little bit. I do have an enormous amount of responsibility for somebody my age, and that’s amazing, but I need to take more time to reflect.
Amber Votel, stylist’s assistant — Seth Goldfarb, studio manager — David Swanson, photographer’s assistant — Brian Zeigler, digital technician — Jimmy Paul @ SUSAN PRICE INC, hair — Francelle @ ART + COMMERCE, make-up — Christina Zuleta @ WALTER SCHUPFER for KNOCK OUT, manicurist
Red crepe dress PRADA and bra MIU MIU
[Table of contents]
Shirin NeshatRead the article
Daphne GuinnessRead the article
Terry ReidRead the article
Fantastic Mr. FoxRead the article
Aurel SchmidtRead the article
Jack WallsRead the article
Rene RicardRead the article
Brendan FowlerRead the article
A-Ron Judah BondaroffRead the article
BEST of the SEASONRead the article
by Olivier Zahm
Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp
by Olivier Zahm
by Olivier Zahm
by Sabine Heller
by Massimo Torrigiani
Nate Lowman and Clarissa Dalrymple
by Olivier Zahm
Victoire de Castellane
by Olivier Zahm
by Katja Rahwles
by Bruce Labruce
by Malerie Marder
by Stefano Pilati
Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquiere Pre-Collection
by Hanna Liden
by Marlene Marino
Rodarte by Rodarte
by David Sherry
by Ryan McGinley
by Karl Lagerfeld
by Stefano Pilati
Paul SevignyRead the article
by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin
by Mario Sorrenti
by Paola Kudacki
by Raymond J. Dumas
Psychomagic Alejandro Jodorowsky
by Olivier Zahm
Origins of the Tarot of Marseille
by Olivier Zahm
Helmut Newton’s Dentist
by Olivier Zahm
Terry Richardson’s Life Story
by Olivier Zahm
The Wilderness of the North
by Dash Snow
by Olivier Zahm and Camille Bidault-Waddington