Ideas
July 28, 2022 12:42 PM EDT
Basso is a designer.

Ivana Trump had a very definite style. She was really a product of the ’80s and early ’90s. She was tall, she was gorgeous. During that period, every major designer was clamoring to dress her. She loved life. She loved beautiful jewels, clothes, and furs. She left us too early (at age 73 on July 14).

We first met when a mutual friend invited her to one of my fashion shows. I was in disbelief. She had been at the front row of every major fashion show in Paris and Milan; her husband Donald had just built Trump Tower. That evening, she showed up and took her front-row seat in a beautiful gray cashmere outfit, dressed to the nines. The show finished, and she came up to me and said: “I don’t know you; I want to know you. I like your collection—well done.”

READ MORE: Ivana Trump Has Her Say

She arrived unannounced at my office the next morning and told me she liked that I was working at 9:30 a.m. She said, “You know, you’re cute. You’re not cute, actually, you’re rather handsome-—a little chubby, but we could fix that.” She bought seven coats. On the way out, she said, “We will be friends; send the bill to Trump Tower and write ‘Attention: To the Donald.’” Soon I was escorting her to the Met Gala and fancy dinners. It was just unbelievable. We became real friends. We weren’t just “chit chit kiss kiss” at a party friends. She was clearly not going to tell you what you wanted to hear. She was going to tell you what she thought.

Divorce is always a difficult thing, but as time progressed, she and Donald were able to maintain a solid relationship. That’s because they chose to rise above their differences and do it for their children and grandchildren. Ivana was a career woman, but she was also dressed 24/7. I imagine her philosophy as being: if you can’t do it in five-inch heels, then don’t bother doing it.

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