The Trump family makes headlines constantly. But Ivanka Trump often flies under the radar despite her powerful position in the White House. You likely know Ivanka has successful businesses of her own, as well as three children with her husband, Jared Kushner. And you may have heard she loves to golf. But which facts did you miss? Read on for some lesser-known details about Ivanka Trump.
1. Ivanka began modeling as a teenager
Following in the footsteps of her mother (Czechoslovakian-born Ivana Trump, Donald’s first wife) Ivanka began modeling as a teen. (She had to get permission from her school first.) Seventeen featured 15-year-old Ivanka on its May 1997 cover. She walked European runways, appeared in magazines, and co-hosted her father’s Miss Teen USA pageant. In 2007, Ivanka told Harper’s Bazaar that 60-year-old bankers “have nothing on a group of catty 16-year-old female models without parental supervision.”
However, her modeling career didn’t last long. As Donald told Vogue, “She was a very successful model, and she just gave it up and went to Wharton.” Another member of the Trump family — Donald’s third wife, Melania — also modeled. But as The Cut notes, “Melania and Ivanka have sought to establish incredibly different brands.” Melania’s traded on “sex — dangerous sex and not traditional matrimonial sex,” while “the current version of Ivanka the Brand is based, oddly, on chastity.”
Next: A surprising part of the world idolizes Ivanka.
2. To many people in China, Ivanka looks Chinese
According to Refinery 29, the Chinese consider Ivanka Trump “a genetic, generational, and Caucasian miracle.” To many in this region, Ivanka’s features look Chinese. As Refinery29 explains, “Ivanka Trump is big — yuge! — in China because she deftly wields the two things that have granted women power since the beginning of time: beauty and money.” She intrigues Chinese people because she still works despite her wealth and beauty.
Chinese tabloids and gossip websites track her movements. Following the election, Chinese companies filed hundreds of trademark applications using the word “Ivanka” to sell products. And plastic surgeons promise to make clients’ features look like Ivanka’s. (At least a few Americans are undergoing plastic surgery to look more like Ivanka, too.)
Next: Ivanka fakes it with one secret accessory.
3. Ivanka loves accessories — including colored contacts
Ivanka loves accessories. InStyle cites “perfect peep-toe pumps” and an “assortment of top-handle bags” as integral to her professional wardrobe. Ivanka also gave advice on dressing for a conservative office. She said, “Statement accessories are the easiest way to change your look. Patterned shoes or a leopard print belt can make even the simplest black dress look more fashion forward.” She also cited “killer high-heel pumps” as key to a work wardrobe.
But one accessory you probably haven’t noticed Ivanka wearing? She wears colored contacts. Refinery29 reports Ivanka’s eyes change color, “and not in a way that could be passed off as a trick of the light or camera flash. In various appearances, she’s swapped her natural brown eyes for what appears to be deep hazel or bright green contacts — sometimes even in the same day.”
Next: Despite her fashion sense, Ivanka uses a stylist.
4. Although she has a clothing line, Ivanka works with a stylist
Ivanka stepped down from her fashion label’s management and operations to move to D.C. But she’s still dedicated to fashion. In fact, the first daughter enlists some help. She reportedly hired a Hollywood stylist named Caitlin “Cat” Williams. Williams worked for Micaela Erlanger — who has styled Meryl Streep and Lupita Nyong’o — and for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar in Australia. At those publications, Williams worked with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s stylist.
However, enlisting the help of a well-connected stylist — an unusual move for a first daughter — doesn’t endear Ivanka to the fashion world’s A-list. Several designers, including Zac Posen, Marc Jacobs, and Tom Ford, say they won’t dress Ivanka or the other Trumps.
However, Ivanka has long been friends with the designer Carolina Herrera, who predicts other designers will get past their reluctance to dress Ivanka and other members of the Trump family. Perhaps critics of the first daughter’s wardrobe will get over it, too.
Next: No McDonald’s for Ivanka.
5. She eats a much healthier diet than her dad
We all know about Donald Trump’s diet. He likes steak, cherry vanilla ice cream, meatloaf, potato chips, Diet Coke, and fast food. But Ivanka eats much healthier than her father. She prefers salads and lean proteins. Plus, she prepares homemade vegetable soups. But she’s not a fan of green juices. In fact, she told Shape, “I tried a juice cleanse, and it was a total disaster. For the eight hours that I lasted, I felt like I was on the brink of starvation.” However, she reportedly enjoys the occasional pastrami sandwich from 2nd Street Deli.
Like many Americans, the first daughter thinks of wellness as more than just food. Ivanka tells Harper’s Bazaar she meditates for 15 minutes each morning before she reads the paper. She eats salmon and veggies with her daughter at lunch, but both indulge in strawberry ice cream. (And Ivanka occasionally enjoys a cheese quesadilla.) Plus, she drinks water, Tazo passion tea, or coffee with half and half.
Next: Ivanka has some not-so-known talents.
6. Ivanka Trump once auditioned for a Broadway show
Ivanka told Us Weekly she once “auditioned for the part of Cosette in Les Miserables on Broadway,” but adds, “It didn’t work out.” However, she danced in The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center when she was young.
The Bachelorette also reportedly courted Ivanka. But she explained, “I’m flattered, but that in no way furthers my objective of being a great real estate developer.” According to Refinery29, it’s good she turned down producers. “She probably wouldn’t be the most ‘real’ Bachelorette. She’d likely be a very silent lead, commenting only when necessary. And as everyone knows — come on, everyone should know this — the best reality television stars people with unapologetic candor.”
Next: Ivanka’s dating history raises some eyebrows.
7. She dated Lance Armstrong and Topher Grace
Before she got married, Ivanka dated an interesting assortment of men. AOL reports she dated actor Topher Grace in 2006. In fact, she celebrated her 25th birthday with him at a Las Vegas nightclub. (Friends Chelsea Handler and Adam Levine also attended.)
She also dated cyclist Lance Armstrong, whom she met at a charity event while she was in Los Angeles filming The Apprentice. While in college in 2001, Ivanka dated James “Bingo” Gubelmann, who was arrested 15 years later for being caught with cocaine. Ivanka appeared in Gubelmann’s 2003 documentary Born Rich.
Next: Ivanka has a crazy network from her high school days.
8. She attended the same schools as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and John F. Kennedy
Business Insider reports Ivanka went to Manhattan’s exclusive, all-girls Chapin Schoo (Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was an alumna). Then, she attended boarding school at Choate Rosemary Hall, the elite Connecticut prep school John F. Kennedy attended.
She tells Us Weekly she studied Latin for several years. And she “was forced to take fencing in high school. They were big on antiquated sports.” Later, she studied at Georgetown University and then transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, her father’s alma mater. There, she earned a degree in economics from the Wharton School in 2004.
Next: Ivanka has a “frenemy” of sorts.
9. She’s friends with Chelsea Clinton
Vogue reports Ivanka prefers “smaller groups” of friends, including Chelsea Clinton and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky. The two daughters are surprisingly similar. Vanity Fair reports their friendship “undoubtedly channeled Ivanka’s behavior on the campaign trail.” The publication says, “Ivanka did not attack Hillary Clinton and referred to her on only one occasion, obliquely, when she claimed (wrongly) that her father was the sole candidate who had a specific maternity-leave policy.”
Interestingly, The Hill reported in 2015 that Donald and Ivanka “donated a combined total of at least $105,000 to the Clinton Foundation.” Ivanka and her brothers also donated to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.
Next: Donald proves you can have a favorite child.
10. Ivanka Trump is her father’s favorite child
It’s no secret Ivanka and Donald Trump have a close relationship. According to The New York Times, Trump family members — plus friends and people who have done business with them — describe Donald and Ivanka’s relationship “as especially close.”
Ivanka reportedly holds “an exalted position in the family, in their company, and even in the campaign.” The newspaper adds, “Among the Trump children, she is the acknowledged favorite: ‘Daddy’s little girl,’ as her older brother Donald Jr. once described her. When Ms. Trump and her father are not together, she said, they speak as often as five times a day.”
Next: Ivanka can pull strings no one else can.
11. Ivanka is one of the few people who influences Donald Trump
According to The New York Times, Ivanka “has one skill unmatched by almost anyone else, family members and aides say: She can effectively convey criticism to a man who often refuses it from others and can appeal to him to change his mind.” Ivanka once said, “I’m his daughter. I’ve known him my entire life. He trusts me … I don’t have a hidden agenda. I’m not looking to hit him to help myself.”
Nonetheless, The Cut wonders whether Ivanka is losing her ability to influence her father. And Vanity Fair notes Ivanka never publicly disagrees with her father. “In her mind, to disagree with him publicly at all would make Trump Family Discord the headline, something she has been trying to avoid her entire life.”
Next: Ivanka had a leg up professionally.
12. Ivanka Trump began working for her father in 2005
As a child, Ivanka reportedly tagged along with her father to meetings. She often stopped by his office and accompanied him to construction sites. But she didn’t officially work for Donald until 2005. Shortly after she joined the family business, she served as a judge on Donald’s show The Apprentice. In fact, she served as a boardroom judge from the show’s sixth season until the final Trump episode in 2015.
The New York Times reports on Donald Trump’s trust in Ivanka, “In the Trump family business, he has given her a level of authority none of his wives, or for that matter executives, have ever had.” The newspaper adds, “She handles some of the Trump Organization’s biggest deals, including its acquisition of the Doral Resort in Miami and its agreement to convert the Old Post Office building in Washington, D.C., into a luxury hotel.”
Next: Ivanka should just avoid Aspen altogether.
13. Ivanka (and Donald) have a history of causing drama on vacation
The Trumps seem to get in trouble when they visit Aspen. The Cut reports the Colorado ski town was the site of the famous shouting match between Ivanka’s mother, Ivana Trump, and Marla Maples, Donald’s lover. But a teen Ivanka caused drama of her own when she and her parents stayed at in Aspen.
Ivanka reportedly went missing, and her parents called the police. According to The Cut, a local law enforcement official “said she was eventually found in another hotel room with ‘a boy.'” But the drama isn’t over just because Ivanka grew up. The Trumps vacationed in Aspen in 2017, annoying fellow resort-goers with their huge entourage.
Next: She met her future husband at a business meeting.
14. She met Jared Kushner in 2007
Ivanka Trump met Jared Kushner in 2007. Both raised in real estate families, they lived in the public eye. According to Vogue, Ivanka and Jared met at “a business lunch set up by a commercial real estate broker and another friend who thought they could do deals together.”
Ivanka explains, “They very innocently set us up thinking that our only interest in one another would be transactional. Whenever we see them we’re like, ‘The best deal we ever made!'” Ivanka and Jared married in 2009. She converted to Orthodox Judaism, and the couple keeps kosher and observes the Sabbath. They have three children together: Arabella Rose, Joseph Frederick, and Theodore James.
Next: Ivanka and Jared briefly broke up.
15. Religion briefly broke up Ivanka and Jared
They may seem like the perfect couple, but Cosmopolitan reports Ivanka and Jared briefly broke up in 2008. Why? The contentious issue of religion. Ivanka stated, “One of the jokes I first started making when Jared and I first started dating is, ‘I’m a New Yorker. I’m in real estate. I’m as close to Jewish, with an i-s-h naturally, as anyone can start off.'”
According to Cosmopolitan, Jared’s mother “apparently had a hand in the breakup.” Despite parental disapproval, Jared and Ivanka didn’t stay apart for long. “Ivanka agreed to convert to Judaism, but even then there were lots of tough tests from her future father-in-law.” Evidently, she passed.
Next: She likes some intense workouts.
16. Ivanka loves yoga and SoulCycle
The first daughter enjoys workouts like yoga and SoulCycle. (Interestingly, Chelsea Clinton is a SoulCycle fan, too.) CNN reported because both Ivanka and Michelle Obama love indoor cycling workouts, the two major studios Washingtonians attend have been “abuzz” with excitement. Both seem to prefer SoulCycle to its competitor, Flywheel, though Ivanka has also attended Flywheel classes.
Next: She loves — and even appeared on — a popular teen TV show.
17. Ivanka loves Gossip Girl and made a cameo on the show
Like many fans of TV shows focusing on teenage drama, Ivanka loves Gossip Girl. She told People, “Gossip Girl is my guilty pleasure. I’m addicted to it! I have to confess I have a ‘thing’ for Chuck Bass myself.” Asked about an episode in which Chuck Bass tells Nate Archibald, “Sleeping with the enemy is hot. Why do you think I have the whole Ivanka thing?” Ivanka said, “Despite the tawdry implications, having your television crush reciprocate is definitely flattering.”
She told InStyle in 2010, “I never miss an episode of Gossip Girl. I think I’m a cross between Blair Waldorf and Lily van der Woodsen when it comes to the style. I like the uptown city style and a clean-cut, streamlined silhouette.” Ivanka and husband Jared Kushner made a brief cameo on the show. She explained, “We had so much fun filming together, but I am not sure if you could characterize our cameo as acting per se.”
Next: Ivanka designs clothing for very specific women.
18. Her fashion brand targets ‘women who work’
In 2007, Ivanka launched her jewelry collection. Then she created the Ivanka Trump Collection, her fashion and lifestyle brand. The New York Times reports, Ivanka “marketed her clothing line with slogans about female empowerment.” She later introduced shoes and handbags to the line. As it evolved, the Ivanka Trump Collection appealed to a wide market by adopting the slogan, “Women Who Work.”
Her collection drawed criticism for its policies relating to working women. When she began hiring employees, Ivanka didn’t offer a benefits package. She reportedly seemed reluctant to offer maternity leave. (Her designers only get unpaid maternity leave.) Eventually, the office featured a play area for children while their parents worked. However, the company still doesn’t pay its interns, a big issue in the fashion industry.
Next: She once considered a questionable piercing.
19. She almost her belly button pierced
Though you probably wouldn’t guess it looking at her now, Ivanka was a rebellious teenager. And according to Vanity Fair, “She considered getting her navel pierced. Her father called just as she was about to have it done. She elected at that moment not to go through with it — the umbilical attachment proving too strong.”
The publication added that Ivanka wrote in her book, The Trump Card, that she had to “preserve and protect the family name and reputation, which, after all, were now my name and reputation, too.” That may be why she skipped the piercing. However, according to Us Weekly, considering a belly button piercing isn’t the dumbest thing she’s done. That honor goes to her brush with skydiving. She tells the publication, “At the time, my mother said, ‘Why would you jump out of a perfectly good plane?'”