Leopard-print $26m home of Ivana Trump won’t sell. Thoughts on why.

The Times reports on the struggle to sell the house where Ivana Trump lived in New York city. It has been on sale for five months and it has failed to find a buyer. A visitor said that walking into the house is like stepping back into the 1980s. It is a grand palace inside certainly but there is a focus on leopard print decor. And back in the day when she bought it (1987 or was it 1992?) on her divorce from Donald Trump there was an entirely different relation between humans and wild animals.

The sitting room showing leopard-print furnishings
The sitting room showing leopard-print furnishings. Image: The selling agent I believe.

Covid and more importantly global warming has happened since then. This has changed the human-to-nature dynamic. People see nature being destroyed. They want to protect it. The great wild cats such as the leopard and cheetah are an integral part of nature. They are symbolic of nature.

To see leopard-print designs in this throwback house is a reminder of a time when women wore leopard print coats but these were the real deal. They were leopard skin coats. At one time they were very fashionable as were coats made by the skins of small wild cats such as the ocelot.

Jackie Kennedy in genuine leopard fur coat. The coat is styled simply to emphasis the fur.
Jackie Kennedy in genuine leopard fur coat. The coat is styled simply to emphasis the fur.

The ‘harvesting’ of these animals caused a catastrophic decline in population numbers. Belatedly the practice was banned. My argument is that people don’t want a reminder of those ignorant times. Ivana’s home subconsciously reminds them.

And because the leopard motif is so integral to her home it can’t find buyers. They’ll have to strip it all back to bare walls which would be very destructive.

The second point is that Trump is disliked by half the American population. Is that a fair assessment? Is it more or less? It is a lot. When you buy Ivana’s house you buy a bit of Trump history. Not good for many.

And finally, Trump is linked to sport hunting. His beloved sons like to shoot leopards and other large wild animals – iconic animals – in Africa for the pleasure of it. I guess he taught them that. Or was it her?

You don’t want to be linked to this man in any way even if it is his former wife’s home. Yes, I know he has millions of followers too but there are red-necked right wingers. That’s my interpretation of his popularity. What’s yours?

The home

She bought the property for $2.5 million on her divorce from Donald. At the time it was a dentist’s office and the building contained many small rooms. She wrote in her book, Raising Trump: Family Values from America’s First Mother, that it needed a lot of work.

She said that she “picked out every bit of marble and every gold fixture in the place”. She added that her builders “ran a bulldozer through the lobby”. The sitting room is a leopard-print monstrosity. Well, it’s a monstrosity if you don’t like the reminder of the abuse of the leopard and the garish opulence.

The house opposite is owned by Donatella Versace. The house reflected her style perfectly she said. I wonder if she encouraged her sons to be sport hunters? I mean she loves leopard-prints. And they love to shoot leopards.

Donald Jnr and Eric Trump like to shoot leopards for fun
Donald Jnr and Eric Trump like to shoot leopards for fun. Image in public domain.

African lion weakened by sport hunting

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Speciesism - 'them and us' | Cruelty - always shameful
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