Meghan effect drives sales, maternity market looks forward to next few months
The Duchess of Sussex (the former Meghan Markle) has proved this week that she’s lost none of her star power in the months since her wedding and with a royal tour of Australia under way and news of her pregnancy in recent days, she’s continuing to help anything she wears sell out fast.
The ivory dress by under-the-radar Australian designer Karen Gee that she wore this week in Sydney led to the brand’s website crashing multiple times as shoppers checked in to see more details. The available-to-order ‘Blessed’ dress retails at A$1,800 and, unsurprisingly, is the hero piece on the website’s home page at present.
The instant recognition Meghan can give to a brand has already been key for businesses such as dress label Goat and bag brand Strathberry. And, of course, she had a huge impact on already-strong labels Givenchy and Stella McCartney at her wedding in May.
Back with her Australian tour, she’s also been seen in a blazer from Serena Williams’ brand and black jeans from Australian label Outland, with both pieces sold out.
Like her sister-in-law the Duchess of Cambridge (aka Kate Middleton) who has been estimated to help drive hundreds of millions of pounds of fashion sales, her influence is only likely to grow. And importantly, it should benefit more than the group of UK brands that Kate wears.
Meghan’s North American background and the fact that she won’t one day be Queen of Great Britain means she has more freedom to wear international labels.
Importantly though, fashion brands specialising in maternity clothing, or those that can be adapted for maternity-wear, are now anticipating a huge impact from her choices over the next few months.
That should also influence the resale market with eBay having already said that Kate’s latest pregnancy this year led to her being the most searched royal on the site in 2018.
British maternity brand Seraphine saw items selling out after being worn by her during her three pregnancies with founder Cecile Reinaud saying it had an important impact beyond individual items as it raised the label’s profile internationally.
"In pregnancy in particular there's an even greater focus from the media. I think Meghan will have a similar effect,” she told the BBC.
JoJo Maman Bebe also enjoyed sellout status after Kate wore the brand's Cream Princess Coat while pregnant in 2015.
However, it’s not expected that Meghan will join Kate in mixing high street labels into her maternity wardrobe very often as, so far, she’s shown herself to be firmly wedded to the designer sector. But we should expect lots of “how to get the Meghan look on a budget” editorial features.
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