In many ways, the move made official the transformation we’d all seen this past decade and a half or so as Ivanka played the mid-aughts Manhattan socialite game, notching fashion and jewelry lines and reality TV appearances and motivational book deals along the way. Now that her father is the officially avowed leader of the free world, and her husband his most trusted adviser, it was time to say goodbye to all that—and to document the saying of goodbye, as any self-respecting millennial leaving New York knows. Instead of a tortured Medium essay, we got Trump’s Instagram in the days leading up to the move: There was her daughter, posing in pajamas in their box-jammed apartment. There was Ivanka herself, saying goodbye to her co-workers at Trump Tower with a cake on which a terrifyingly-not-to-scale figurine of her father was perched in front of the Capitol (in the background lurk books on American photography and Venetian villas—White House redecoration #inspo?). And there she was on #datenight at Midtown’s Armani Ristorante, a luxury restaurant emblematic of a recently bygone New York, where serving $38 pasta in a hall of glass wasn’t kindling for populist outrage.
What Ivanka is doing once she arrives in Washington remains tantalizingly vague. Like her husband, Jared Kushner, she has resigned from her roles at both Trump Tower and the brand that carries her name. But whereas Kushner has a formalized role as senior adviser to his father-in-law, Ivanka’s agenda, responsibilities, and goals remain ambiguous. All we know is that New York City is home to Ivanka no more, and vestiges of former incarnations of the Ivanka Trump brand are scattered all over the town, in spaces long forgotten. And as she leaves behind her eponymous brand’s team, her Upper East Side apartment, and her role at Trump Tower, one chapter of her life has remained curiously unexamined these past few months.