Like any attraction in New York City, Trump Tower in Midtown hosts a series of retail shops offering a range of souvenirs for tourists ...
... think "I (heart) NY" stickers, flags, and tchotchkes galore.
But in keeping with the Fifth Avenue neighborhood that's home to Trump Tower, there are also a couple of shops selling seemingly high-end, Trump-branded gear.
The tower sits on the northeast corner of 56th Street and Fifth Avenue, shares the block with Tiffany & Co., and faces stores like Prada, Bulgari, and Bergdorf Goodman.
Walking up to the building, I passed through metal and cement barricades that were stopping traffic around the northwest and southwest sides of the block.
Aside from the barricades — which did take away from the magical feeling I usually get while walking this stretch of Fifth Avenue — an ornate clock and a series of flags hanging from the building brought me into the gilded mindset that this building drapes over visitors.
There were tourists taking photos with well-dressed doormen outside Trump Tower's doors standing beneath giant block lettering and a large American flag.
Once I walked through the doors I had to run my backpack through a scanner reminiscent of TSA bag checks at an airport. There was no line, though, and the process took all of 30 seconds — it was painless and left me feeling safe.
The first of the two Trump-branded shops in Trump Tower is on the ground level of the building. It's only a few yards from the security check, but it's pretty small and easy to miss if you don't know it's there.
I learned that the store I was about to walk into actually used to be the store for Ivanka Trump's namesake label. Business Insider reported that the Ivanka Trump store closed in July 2018, and then opened the next day with shelves of Trump brand merchandise.
The ground floor shop was more like a preview for the big one downstairs. There were these blue-ish underlights — during the Ivanka Trump era they were purple — that made the displays glow ...
... and five shelves of hats, T-shirts, sweatshirts, and drinking glasses. The shelving in the store stayed the same through the changing host brands.
All of the merchandise in this mini store had a red, white, and blue theme to it. It felt like I was in America's gift shop — if America were to be completely branded with "Trump" lettering.
Everything on the shelves in this shop had "Trump" written on it in some way, including vintage-looking footballs, which sell for $180, according to the sales associate we spoke to.
There were a variety of T-shirts and sweatshirts including this long-sleeve option.
While many items carried the USA motif, the long-sleeved shirt featured this single-star flag on the upper left chest, which was a little confusing seeing as it looked more like the flag of Liberia than that of the US.
There were also shirts that featured the controversial family coat of arms — it reportedly belonged to another family and featured the Latin word for integrity where this crest reads "Trump."
Between the shirts were jars of Trump-branded golf balls.
There were Trump Signature Collection neckties hanging in the window — when I got up close I could see the pattern was made of a series of mini "T" shapes.
On the floor underneath the necktie display were three baskets of stuffed animals. The bears were wearing sweaters that had "Trump" written across the chest.
And the dogs were named "Charlie Dog" and had blue ribbons around their necks that also read "Trump." The small, stuffed, sweaterless beagles were on sale for $35.
While it may seem random for there to be plush dogs named Charlie for sale — considering President Trump doesn't have a dog in the White House — the toy may have something to do with the fact that the president's son, Eric Trump, has a beagle named Charlie.
Even though there was a whole lot of "Trump" for sale, I was a little underwhelmed by the lack of merchandise as I thought this was the only shop in the building up until this point. I asked the sales associate if they had anything else in the metaphorical "back" — there was no back, just drawers beneath the shelves — of the store ...
... and that's when she told me there was a whole other storefront just downstairs. So down the gold-clad escalator I went.
Right at the bottom of the escalator was the bigger store. It had a similar entryway to the one upstairs — floor to ceiling glass with the "Trump Store" decals and mannequins that were ready for a round of golf. But even while I was still a few yards away, I was able to see how much bigger this location was.
And in this case, bigger definitely meant more merchandise to choose from.
Since the president is known partially for his love of golf, I wasn't surprised to see more golf shirts and hats on offer — this time there was much more variety in design than there was at the upstairs store.
But there were also shelves of bath products with Trump Hotels labels — a luxury hotel brand managed under the Trump Organization — like this bath bomb that was on sale for $15 ...
... and stacks and stacks of soap kits, which sold for $22.
There were also golf accessories like this $55 flag featuring the coat of arms again ...
... and golf club covers ranging in price from $40 to $120 depending on the style.
While most of the things we saw in both shops had stickers or labels indicating the product was made in the US ...
... this particular style of golf club cover was made in China. On August 1, 2019, Trump announced that he will "expand tariffs to virtually all imports from China" starting in September, according to Business Insider.
In this downstairs shop, clothing shared shelves with novelty items like books ...
... gold bullion piggy banks ...
... and giant, $115, three-wick, scented candles — the "T" pattern seen on the outside of the candle is also used in a lot of the bath goods packaging.
There were also more teddy bears downstairs, like this robe-wearing plush bear. David Farenthold, a reporter for The Washington Post, called it "oddly suggestive" in a tweet.
There was a section in the back dedicated to kids' clothes and toys. There were these New York-themed takes on the classic bedtime story, "Goodnight Moon" ...
... and graphic Ts with sayings like, "I'm kind of a big deal."
The section also had a few sale racks, which mostly just had sweatpants and golf shirts on markdown.
This pair of Trump International Washingtonm, D.C., sweatpants went from costing $68 to costing $49.99, then $29.99, and finally $9.99 by the time of my visit.
Also at the back of the store was an ornament display. The ornaments were either New York- or golf-themed.
And some were celebratory of newlywed couples. This ornament of a car reads "Just Married" where a license plate would be, with "Trump" on the bumper.
There was a case of similar ornaments upstairs on the ground floor just outside the first Trump shop. The one in the lower level store seemed less random, though — it made more sense because it was inside a gift shop, this one was just sitting in the lobby, slathered in gold.
Speaking of gold, there was plenty of it in the downstairs store. This table featuring assorted gold-colored items acted as the centerpiece for the shop.
There were bowls of gold tchotchkes like ball markers ...
... money clips ...
... USB drives ...
... and even golden fidget spinners.
Right next to the table, there were shelves of more gold bullion goodies. These were $28 gift sets of divot tools — also used for golf.
Sets of dishes, wine glasses, lowball glasses, and reusable hot cups also lined the walls ...
... along with classic souvenir shop items like paperweights ...
... and Trump-labeled bags of snacks.
A bag of chocolate-covered pretzels or salted nuts would run a hungry shopper $7.
Of course, the store didn't just sell things in the name of the family patriarch. There was a shelf of accessories ...
... and a jewelry case by the register that both featured Ivanka Trump brand products.
Up by check-out, the Trump Store had its own version of impulse offerings. They mainly included chocolate. There were various flavors of chocolate shaped and dressed up like gold bullion ...
... and then a box of chocolates cleanly wrapped in a black matte box.
I wanted to get a look at the goods, but they were bound by cellophane and tissue paper.
Regardless of what shoppers bought, according to this return policy, it could be returned for a full refund within 60 days of the purchase.
The basement store sits among a tiny little world of Trump. There was some tropical-looking foliage that made me less than 100% positive I was still in a building that heavily identifies as being a New York icon.
The Tower also houses Trump's Ice Cream Parlor ...
... a deli that also offered pizza and burgers ...
... and a restaurant called Trump Grill.
While I found it a little overwhelming to see so many branded — and gilded — products in one space, there were plenty of visibly excited shoppers of all ages in both stores who couldn't wait to own a piece of Trump.