News & Politics

Trump Officials Turned to Nordstrom for Inauguration Attire

Team Trump may be distancing themselves from Nordstrom now, but several cabinet officials, staffers, and their spouses relied on the department store for their inauguration threads.

Lysa Senich, a Nordstrom personal shopper in the store’s Pentagon City location, tells Washingtonian that she was “fortunate enough” to dress “cabinet members and Trump staff” for the president’s inauguration and inaugural balls last month. A Republican source tells us her clientele included Secretary of Defense James Mattis. Senich won’t confirm specific names, but does say that she outfitted “several of the generals” in the new administration.

“I’m very blessed to have a great clientele,” Senich says over the phone. A Nordstrom employee for nearly 20 years, she adds that she dressed luminaries in the Obama and Bush administrations as well. “Everyone needs help getting dressed,” she says. “It’s apolitical.”

“Of course my clients do have opinions, but our relationship has been such that they can share that with me and it won’t ever affect that relationship.”

The department store caught the ire of President Trump last week when it announced that it would no longer carry Ivanka Trump‘s eponymous clothing line. Per a Wall Street Journal report, Nordstrom’s sales of Trump’s line had dipped by nearly one-third in the past fiscal year, plummeting further in the weeks leading up to her father’s election. President Trump attacked the company for its decision via Twitter, writing that Nordstrom had treated Ivanka “so unfairly.” The exchange escalated when Kellyanne Conway appeared on Fox & Friends and urged viewers to buy Ivanka Trump’s products. Conway now finds herself embroiled in allegations of an ethics rules violation.

Nordstrom saw an uptick in its stock following the president’s tweet, but Trump supporters flooded social media with #BoycottNordstrom and #BuyIvanka hashtags. Today, former Happy Days star and Trump booster Scott Baio announced that he’ll no longer patronize Nordstrom, posting his yearend receipt of $30,062.16 from the department store. “NEVER AGAIN!” he tweeted.

Is Senich worried that her new clients will follow suit? “It hasn’t affected my business,” she says of the kerfuffle. She says she hasn’t worked with anyone from the new administration since inauguration, but that may only be because–unbelievable as it is–the president was sworn in a mere three weeks ago. “Most people loaded up on everything just before inauguration,” she says.

As for their eventual return, she’s not too concerned. “I have a very consistent and loyal clientele,” she says. “I’m a free service that Nordstrom provides, but I’m my own business.”

“Yes, people shop with Nordstrom,” she adds. “But it’s really that people shop with people.'”

Staff Writer

Elaina Plott joined Washingtonian in June 2016 as a staff writer. She has written about her past life as an Ann Coulter fangirl, how the Obamas changed Washington, and the rise and fall of Roll Call. She previously covered Congress for National Review. Her writing has appeared in the New York Observer, GQ, and Harper’s Bazaar.