Obsessing about her wardrobe is one thing, but the Duchess has done her bit to boost lesser-known fashion brands, using her influence to good.
It’s easy to get lost in the narrative of Meghan’s £160,000 wardrobe but Givenchy, Dior and designer frocks aside, there’s a positive side to her passion for fashion.
A good example of this being the reaction to the £620 House of Nonie sleeveless trench dress , she wore for the Nelson Mandela Centenary Exhibition in London.
Talking to Hello magazine , the designer of the dress, Canadian-born Nina Kharey, revealed that the moment she found out that Meghan had worn her dress was “unbelievable” and “really surreal”.
Kharey received a text from her publicist at 6:45am as she was on the other side of the world.
She said: “My dad was in tears. I just started Googling right away and looking, and I was in awe of how she looked. She just looked so amazing in it.”
Meghan stepped out in House of Nonie’s sleeveless trench to visit the Nelson Mandela exhibition
Meghan’s close friend and stylist Jessica Mulroney has been a client of Nina’s for years, which probably explains how the Duchess came to wear one of her designs.
As with all things Meghan wears, there was immediate interest in the dress.
Talking to Hello, Kharey continued: “I finally not only get to prove it to the world that I’m worthy of attention and time, but in a way I also proved it to myself and my family. I have something! My Instagram has blown up, [and] my emails, and I can just imagine how the orders are looking at the moment!”
By wearing one of Nina’s designs, House of Nonie has now had the kind of global exposure that a brand can only dream of. The relatively unknown brand has become a household name overnight, and is already seeing a direct impact on sales.
But of course this isn’ the only brand Meghan has introduced us to. Hands up if you’d heard of Hiut Denim jeans before we spotted Meghan wearing a pair on an official visit to Cardiff in January? Me neither.
But the moment, Meghan stepped out wearing a pair of their £185 Dina skinny fit high waisted jeans, the name was all over the Internet within minutes.
Talking to The Mail , David Hieatt, co-founder of the company revealed: “The website went absolutely crazy. We have a backorder waiting list for three months. We are having two more people in and we’re moving to a new factory. The effect has been remarkable.”
The demand has been so high, the small company is being forced to move to a bigger factory to cope with orders and they now have a three-month waiting list.
It’s been a similar success story for Scottish accessories brand Strathberry. When Meghan arrived in Nottingham for her first official royal engagement, carrying one of their bags, it sold out within 11 minutes .
Strathberry founder Leanne Hundleby told Harper’s Bazaar : “Meghan mixes high-end designers with more affordable pieces which makes her style more relatable and approachable. It is also fantastic that she has been willing to support smaller brands and increase their brand awareness exponentially.”
Then of course there’s the heart warming story behind the £175 Charlotte Elizabeth satchel that Megan wore in Belfast earlier this year.
Handbag designer Charlotte is a recipient of the Prince’s Trust, an organisation founded by Prince Charles in 1976 to support disadvantaged youth in the UK – specifically, 11- to 30-year-olds who struggled with homelessness, health, or legal issues.
Charlotte, struggling with heart complications and diagnosed with PoTs and ME at 16, had to drop out of school.
She started her label with the help of the Trust and her design ethos was to create a product she felt was “simple, classic yet modern… [that] my mother and grandmother could all wear, something universally acceptable for all generations.”
Her timeless, classic designs caught the eye of the Duchess and promptly sold out, but the website is now taking pre-orders.
Another label we have to thank Meghan for is Canadian fashion clothing brand Line The Label . When Meghan stepped out in a white belted coat to announce her engagement to Prince Harry, back in November 2017, social media went into a frenzy as fans rushed to find out where the coat was from.
Meghan and Harry announced their engagement back in November and married this May
Meghan had already worn a trench coat from the same label at the Invictus Games in September 2017 and we now know that she owns the coat in five colours.
Following the announcement the jacket sold out at all outlets, but in March 2018, the brand re-released it.
Line The Label has renamed the coat ‘Meghan’
President and co-founder of LINE, John Muscat, released a statement that said: “We are incredibly honoured that Meghan chose to wear a LINE coat to mark this very special occasion. We know this particular coat is one of her favourite pieces so we have officially decided to name it the ‘Meghan’.”
Today the ‘Meghan’ coat is available in black, grey and white.