Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
This isn’t it. This is her in a fashion show in 1997. (Photo: Mitchell Gerber/Getty Images)

In her mom Ivana’s new memoir Raising Trump, Ivanka Trump describes what she refers to as her “punk phase.” It didn’t involve protesting, or blasting Dead Kennedys records in her room, or chartering a private jet to London to walk in the footsteps of the Sex Pistols and The Clash. No, it involved dyeing her hair blue once and being sad when Kurt Cobain died, as detailed in NME. And we have a few questions:

1) Is there a hair salon in Trump Tower called Nice’n Easy?

Because if you’ve ever spent an afternoon or 10 bleaching your hair, then dyeing it with Manic Panic, ruining every towel within a half-mile radius in the process, you know this is utter bullshit:

One day after school, I dyed my hair blue. Mom wasn’t a fan of this decision. She took one look at me and immediately went out to the nearest drugstore to buy a $10 box of Nice’n Easy. That night, she forced me to dye my hair back to blond. The color she picked out was actually three shades lighter than my natural color… and I have never looked back!


Ivanka. It’s not possible to lift your hair three shades, especially from a dark color like blue, with a box of drugstore hair dye. Unless there’s a special formula that comes in a gold-plated box that only the Trumps know about, that so-called $10 at-home dye job wouldn’t have done much of anything.

2) Where do you think she got her flannel shirts?

“My wardrobe consisted of ripped corduroy jeans and flannel shirts,” Ivanka writes of her punk sensibilities, seemingly unaware that that’s grunge fashion, and not punk. That dead giveaway that she has no idea what she’s talking about aside, if these events all coincided with Cobain’s death, that places Ivanka’s “punk phase” around 1993-1994.

Delia’s was founded in New York in 1993, so she could have been an early adopter of the teen-centric fashion catalog that took over suburban America in the late ’90s. More likely, though, is the young oligarch taking a pair of platinum scissors to a pair of pants from Marc Jacobs’ infamous spring 1993 “grunge collection”, which got Jacobs fired from Perry Ellis and sent New York’s fashion elite into hysterics. “Grunge is anathema to fashion,” critic Cathy Horyn wrote in The Washington Post. “Rarely has slovenliness looked so self-conscious, or commanded so high a price.” A much more likely catalyst for getting a Trump into “punk” than a basement show, frankly.

3) Did Ivanka Trump skip to the singles on Nevermind?

Ivanka’s main claim to “punk” cred is her self-professed love of Nirvana and her preteen devastation at the death of Kurt Cobain. “It wasn’t too long after this that Kurt Cobain, the singer, songwriter, and guitarist for Nirvana, committed suicide,” she writes in the book, helpfully explaining who Cobain was. It’s a move that would be unnecessary in most contexts, but given the target audience for Trump’s book (i.e., old white people), it actually makes sense.


Anyway, she goes on: “It was a shock and I was distraught. Mom had no idea who Kurt Cobain was, and she sympathized only so much. After 24 hours of my crying inconsolably in my room, alone—major melodrama—Mom had to pull me out of there to go down to dinner.” We can relate to being upset over Cobain’s death (I was 11 when he killed himself and it was a big deal) but if Ivanka was really that big of a Nirvana fan, surely she would have picked up the B-sides collection Incesticide, whose liner notes read: “Punk Rock (while still sacred to some) is, to me, dead and gone”? Or, you know, read an interview or a review or anything about the band?

Then again, she also thinks her father is a champion of women, so maybe Ivanka’s just not good at reading people.


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