- Don-Alvin Adegeest |
London - Mere hours after Kensington Palace officially announced Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, is expecting her first child, the first outfit she wore in public sold out. A cream crepe dress called "Blessed" by Australian designer Karen Gee was the first look Megan Markle wore when she landed in Sydney, her first official international engagement as a member of the British royal family. Gee's website was subsequently flooded with customers wanting to purchase the 975 GBP dress, whose owners attempted to fulfil orders throughout the night after the site crashed.
Maternity brand Seraphine saw a similar spike in sales when the Duchess of Cambridge wore its clothes. Founder Cecile Reinaud told the BBC: "When our clothes are worn by royals it's always been good for sales and raising the profile of the brand internationally. In pregnancy in particular there's an even greater focus from the media. I think Meghan will have a similar effect."
Whereas the Duchess of Cambridge likes to mix and match with high street brands including Topshop and Zara, Meghan loves tailoring and designer fashion. Her go to brands are Givenchy and Stella McCartney, and her pregnancy is unlikely to deter her from wearing her trademark high end clothes.
Royal babies worth millions of pounds to UK economy
Meghan's penchant for clean lines and soft tailoring will no doubt spark copycats on the high street as her style is easily imitable. But it won't be just the Duchess' outfits which will be fashion news, so too the baby clothes, pram and other infant accessories she may choose will be brands that will benefit from the Royal Baby Effect. This is because the royal brand itself is a marketing machine for brands. Every time a member of the royal family, particular the younger generation, are seen in public, their choice of outfits is a photo opportunity and potential cash machine for designers.
WWD notes it has been well documented that high-street labels such as L.K. Bennett, Reiss and Whistles saw sales surges - and website crashes - when the Duchess of Cambridge wore their designs. Prince George and Prince Charlotte have generated sales for labels such as Crocs, Rachel Riley, Little Alice London, JoJo Maman Bébé, and the department store John Lewis.
Children’s wear brand My 1st Years cofounder Daniel Price told WWD the brand’s blue gingham bathrobe that Prince George wore when he met President Obama sold out in seven minutes. When it was made available again for pre-order, the company sold as many as one per second. “The sales and hits we experienced when Prince George wore our robe in 2016 was pretty special, it really was a moment for us,” he said.
According to the Financial Review Prince George and Princess Charlotte are thought to already be adding 75 million pounds and 100 million per year respectively to the British economy, as they inadvertently endorse labels every time they attend a family gathering or wedding, or pose for an official portrait.
Photo: Tolga Akmen / AFP/ Pool