Welcome back to Moonlighting, a Curbed column in which the talented Raina Cox of If the Lamp Shade Fits takes a look at design players whose first job may not have been design. Have a suggestion for a new Moonlighting topic? Send it o'er here.
Failed faux presidential bids aside, real estate mogul Donald Trump is enjoying something of a personal renaissance. Settled into his newest marriage with his Slovenian bride Melania, the bloviating businessman has seen the future and it’s stamped in 24-carat letters spelling you-know-what.
As large-scale building projects slid from high-risk to stroke-inducing in recent years, Trump has changed his business model from real estate development to personal branding and licensing. While he still oversees construction of the occasional high-end golf course and even more occasionally has something to do with his real estate development, Trump now funds his weekly toilet gold leafing with reality TV deals and by slapping his name on everything from men’s suits to shady business schools. In 2007, the King of the Combover began building Trump Home, a mid-range furnishings collection heavy on a McMansion Traditional look.
In typical Trump fashion, copy for his home collection boasts the following mantra: “No name is more synonymous with an upscale lifestyle, superior quality and success than Donald Trump. Trump Home proves that you can live richly without spending a fortune.” And while this may be true, the real estate mogul’s definition of living “richly” tends toward muddy brown finishes, Victorian rococo flourishes, and enough gold paint to make a banana republic dictator swoon.
The Trump Home collection's stable of licensees currently includes six home furnishings categories with several more in development. There are light fixtures from E.L.K.; furniture by Lexington; mattresses by Serta; home decor from Asian-import king IMAX; Rogaska crystal barware made in the home country of Trump’s current wife; and a candle and fragrance diffuser collection from Aquiesse featuring such “luxury” scents as Acacia Flower and Wild Strawberry. The Trump Home bath collection and a bedding collaboration with Hallmart Collectibles are set to bow later this year.
Not content to rest on his licensing laurels, the teetotaling Trump recently scooped up a foreclosed 800-acre Virgina vineyard and winery for nearly 95 percent off its 2010 $100M ask—he’s still The Donald after all. Trump Wine may soon be filling Trump Home crystal goblets in a Trump Home-furnished social hall at a wedding near you. After all, the Big D has said, "At home, I use largely crystal. We also have what I call 'glasses.'"
· Guess What? Donald Trump Likes to Put His Name on Stuff [Curbed National]
· Buying a Trump Property, or So They Thought [NYT]
· Trump University Faces More Scrutiny [International Business Times]
· Trump Home [official site]
· Trump Home for E.L.K. Lighting [official site]
· Trump Home by Lexington [official site]
· The Trump Home Mattress Collection by Sealy [official site]
· Trump Home by IMAX World Imports [official site]
· Trump Home crystal [Macy's]
· Trump Home candles [Candle Luxury]
· Bedding From Monsieur Trump [Curbed National]
· Donald Trump Adds Vineyard to Full-Bodied Real Estate Portfolio [Curbed National]
· Donald Trump on His New Line of Crystal [NYT]
· If the Lamp Shade Fits [official site]