The Trump family makes headlines constantly. But Ivanka Trump, despite her powerful position in the White House, often flies under the radar. You probably know Ivanka has some successful businesses of her own. Plus, you’re likely aware that she has three children with her husband, Jared Kushner. And you might have heard she loves to golf. But which facts and secrets are you missing out on?
Read on for some lesser-known facts about Ivanka Trump.
1. Ivanka loves accessories — including colored contacts
As most people would expect from a woman who sells shoes and handbags, Ivanka seems to love accessories. InStyle cites “perfect peep-toe pumps” and an “assortment of top-handle bags” as integral to her chic professional wardrobe. Ivanka also gave some 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.” And she also cited “killer high-heel pumps” as a key piece in a work wardrobe.
But one accessory you probably haven’t noticed Ivanka wearing? She appears to wear 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: Ivanka has made friends with an influential political daughter across the aisle.
2. She’s friends with Chelsea Clinton
Ivanka reports for Vogue that she prefers to spend time with “smaller groups” of friends. Among those small groups are Chelsea Clinton and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky. The two political daughters are surprisingly similar. And Vanity Fair reports their friendship “undoubtedly channeled Ivanka’s behavior on the campaign trail.”
The publication explains, “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.”
And interestingly enough, The Hill reported in 2015 that Donald and Ivanka had “donated a combined total of at least $105,000 to the Clinton Foundation.” Ivanka and her brothers also donated money to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.
Next: She auditioned for a Broadway show — and performed at Lincoln Center.
3. Ivanka Trump once auditioned for a Broadway show
In an interview with Us Weekly, Ivanka reveals she once auditioned for a Broadway show. Specifically, she says she “auditioned for the part of Cosette in Les Miserables on Broadway.” But she adds, “It didn’t work out.” However, she did dance in The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center when she was young — a show-business accomplishment any little girl who loves her ballet classes would be proud to achieve.
And interestingly enough, she was reportedly courted by The Bachelorette. But she turned down the role, explaining, “I’m flattered, but that in no way furthers my objective of being a great real estate developer.” But according to Refinery29, it was likely a good thing 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: She once considered a questionable piercing.
4. She considered a belly button piercing as a teenager
Though you probably wouldn’t guess it by looking at her now, Ivanka was a rebellious teenager once. And according to Vanity Fair, “Once, as a teenager, 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 might be why she skipped the piercing. However, according to her interview with Us Weekly, considering a belly button piercing isn’t the dumbest thing she’s done. That dubious 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?'”
Next: She loves — and even appeared on — a popular teen TV show.
5. Ivanka loves Gossip Girl and actually made a cameo on the show
Like many fans of TV shows that focus on teenage drama, Ivanka loves Gossip Girl. She told People in 2009, “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 started working for Donald in 2005.
6. Ivanka Trump began officially working for her father in 2005
Even as a child, Ivanka reportedly tagged along with her father to board meetings and negotiations. And she would routinely stop by his office to say hello or would accompany him to a construction site. But she didn’t officially begin working for Donald until 2005. Shortly after she joined the family business, she also began appearing 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: She met her future husband at a business meeting.
7. She met Jared Kushner in 2007
Ivanka Trump met Jared Kushner in 2007. They had in common their upbringing in real estate mogul families, both of which lived very much 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 of the meeting, “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 also have three children together: Arabella Rose, Joseph Frederick, and Theodore James.
Next: Ivanka and Jared briefly broke up, but it didn’t last long.
8. Ivanka and Jared briefly broke up over the issue of religion
Though they might seem like the perfect couple now, Cosmopolitan reports Ivanka and Jared briefly broke up in 2008. The reason why? The contentious issue of religion. Ivanka has 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.” But in spite of any 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 them all.
Next: The Ivanka Trump Collection is designed for working women.
9. She has a fashion and lifestyle brand for ‘women who work’
In 2007, Ivanka launched her jewelry collection. And shortly thereafter, she introduced the Ivanka Trump Collection, her fashion and lifestyle brand. As the New York Times reports, Ivanka has “marketed her clothing line with slogans about female empowerment.” She introduced jewelry in 2007, shoes and clothing in 2010, and handbags in 2011. As the line evolved, Ivanka wanted to make it appealing to a wide swath of the market. So the Ivanka Trump Collection adopted the slogan, “Women Who Work.”
But in real life, the Ivanka Trump Collection has drawn criticism for its policies, especially as they related to working women (and working mothers). When she began hiring employees, Ivanka didn’t offer a benefits package. And Ivanka reportedly seemed reluctant to offer maternity leave. (Her clothing designers only get unpaid maternity leave.) Eventually, the office featured a play area to entertain children while their parents worked. However, the company still doesn’t pay its interns, a widespread issue in the fashion industry.
Next: She works with a stylist.
10. Even though she has her own clothing line, Ivanka still works with a stylist
Ivanka might have stepped down from the management and operations of her fashion label to move to D.C. But she’s still dedicated to fashion. In fact, the first daughter isn’t afraid to enlist some outside help to look her best. 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 Christine Centenera, who styles Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.
However, enlisting the help of a well-connected stylist — an unusual move for a first daughter — doesn’t automatically endear Ivanka to the fashion world’s A-list. Several designers — including Zac Posen, Marc Jacobs, and Tom Ford — have said they don’t want to dress Ivanka or any of 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: Ivanka is one of the few people who can sway Donald Trump.
11. Ivanka is one of the few people who can influence 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 stated on the topic, “I’m his daughter. I’ve known him my entire life. He trusts me.” She added, “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 his policies. And Vanity Fair notes Ivanka never publicly disagrees with her father, no matter what he says. “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: She likes some of the same workouts you do.
12. Ivanka likes yoga and SoulCycle
The first daughter prefers workouts such as yoga and SoulCycle. (Interestingly enough, it turns out Chelsea Clinton is a SoulCycle fan, too.) And CNN reported because both Ivanka and Michelle Obama love indoor cycling workouts, the two major studios between which Washingtonians can choose have been “abuzz” with excitement. Both seem to prefer SoulCycle to its competitor, Flywheel, though Ivanka has also gone to some Flywheel classes.
Next: She doesn’t eat the same way her father does.
13. She eats a much healthier diet than her dad
We all know the details of Donald Trump’s diet. He likes steak well-done, cherry vanilla ice cream, meatloaf, potato chips, Diet Coke, and fast food. But Ivanka eats a much healthier diet than her father. She eats salads and prefers lean proteins, such as salmon. 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 still enjoys the occasional pastrami sandwich from the 2nd Street Deli.
Like many Americans, the first daughter seems to think of wellness as more than just food. Ivanka tells Harper’s Bazaar she meditates for 15 minutes each morning — right before she reads the paper. She eats salmon and vegetables with her daughter at lunchtime, but both indulge in strawberry ice cream. (And Ivanka occasionally goes for a cheese quesadilla instead of the salmon.) Plus, she drinks water, Tazo passion tea, or coffee with half and half.
Next: She’s idolized in a very surprising part of the world.
14. 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 Chinese people, Ivanka’s features actually look Chinese. And as Refinery29 explains, “Ivanka Trump is big — yuge! — in China because she she deftly wields the two things that have granted women power since the beginning of time: beauty and money.” And she intrigues many Chinese people because despite her wealth and beauty, she still works for her career.
Chinese tabloids and gossip websites track her movements. Following the election, companies in China filed hundreds of trademark applications using the word “Ivanka” to sell numerous consumer products. And plastic surgery clinics promise to transform clients’ features to look more like Ivanka’s. (And it turns out at least a few American women are undergoing plastic surgery to look more like Ivanka, too.)
Next: She (and the other Trumps) cause drama on vacation.
15. Ivanka (and her family) have a history of causing drama on vacation
Despite the opportunity for rest and relaxation, we’re not always at our best when we’re on vacation. That seems especially true for Ivanka, particularly when she vacations in 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, with whom Donald Trump was having an affair. But a teenage Ivanka caused drama of her own while she and her parents were staying at an Aspen ski resort.
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.’ Ivanka Trump: the original cool teen.”
But the drama isn’t over just because Ivanka is a young mom, not a teen anymore. The Trump family vacationed in Aspen in spring 2017, annoying fellow resort goers with their large entourage.
Next: She’s definitely Donald Trump’s favorite child.
16. Ivanka Trump is her father’s favorite child
It’s no secret Ivanka and Donald Trump have a close relationship. According to a report from The New York Times, members of the Trump family — plus family friends and people who have done business with the Trumps — 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 attended some of the same schools as Jackie Kennedy and John F. Kennedy.
17. 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 School, of which Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was an alumna. Then, she went to boarding school at Choate Rosemary Hall, the elite Connecticut prep school John F. Kennedy attended.
She tells Us Weekly while in school, 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: She modeled on European runways as a teenager.
18. 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.) Ivanka made the cover of Seventeen in May 1997 at age 15. She walked European runways, appeared on magazine covers, and co-hosted her father’s Miss Teen USA pageant. And she commented to Harper’s Bazaar in 2007 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 worked as a model. 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: She had an interesting dating history.
19. She dated Lance Armstrong and Topher Grace
Before she got married, Ivanka dated an interesting assortment of men. According to AOL, she dated actor Topher Grace in 2006. In fact, she celebrated her 25th birthday with the actor at a Las Vegas nightclub. (Friends including Chelsea Handler and Adam Levine were also in attendance.)
She also dated cyclist Lance Armstrong, whom she met at a charity event while she was in Los Angeles filming The Apprentice. And when she was in college in 2001, Ivanka dated James “Bingo” Gubelmann, who made headlines 15 years later for being arrested after being caught with cocaine. Gubelmann produced the 2003 documentary Born Rich, in which Ivanka appeared.