Meghan Markle's Popularity Affecting Sales of Designer Clothing

22 March, 2019

Reporters have been following American actress Meghan Markle ever since plans for her marriage to Britain's Prince Harry were announced.

Today every time Meghan, now the Duchess of Sussex, appears in public, people talk about what she is wearing. All that talk and media attention can increase sales of designer clothing.

Since getting married last year, Meghan's clothes have become almost as famous as the woman wearing them. Some pieces are so popular that websites selling what she wears often crash because of demand.

Fashion blogs and social media reporting about her choice of clothing have increased in number. It is all very similar to the public reaction to Prince William's wife, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, several years ago.

Kate has a more conservative, solid color look that appeals to older women. Meghan has a more casual American look, and the British public loves it.

"The Meghan effect is this economic phenomenon similar to the Kate effect...where if she wears it, it turns to gold," said Christine Ross.

Ross is a co-editorial director of Meghan's Mirror fashion blog. She describes the Duchess' style as "very on trend and modern". Almost everything she wears up to and around $300...sells out, she added.

Designer dresses and shoes are the fashion dream of many women, but for Meghan these are just everyday things.

For her busy day, the now Duchess of Sussex usually wears clothing from high-end designers, such as Givenchy. The French company designed the dress she wore on her wedding day.

Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Markle of Sussex pictured after the performance meeting cast and crew backstage at the Victoria Palace Theatre, London.
Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Markle of Sussex pictured after the performance meeting cast and crew backstage at the Victoria Palace Theatre, London.

Dior, Ralph Lauren, Carolina Herrera and Oscar de la Renta are among other designers she likes.

"We'll really never know how much those cost," Ross said. She estimates the clothing costs over $650,000 a year.

Meghan was named 2018's best dressed woman by People magazine.

In addition to pricey clothes, the 37-year-old continues to wear less costly and more casual looking pieces. She has chosen fashion companies known for their concern about the environment and social issues, such as Reformation and Outland Denim.

Meghan supports sustainable fashion, explained Holly Rains, digital editor at magazine Marie Claire UK.

Her less costly accessories quickly sell out from stores and websites. "The jewelry, the where we can...get that kind of Meghan touch...," Rains said. She added that the casual look proved popular with readers.

British fashion expert Michael Talboys said he hoped to see the Duchess of Sussex wear more British designers. So far, she has worn clothing from British fashion lines Victoria Beckham, Strathberry and Marks & Spencer.

Kate frequently wears well-known British designer clothing.

On the streets of London, student Savanah Edwards said Meghan's look was having an effect.

"It does influence me to try new pieces," she said.

I'm Susan Shand.

The Reuters News Agency reported this story. Susan Shand adapted it for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

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Words in This Story

fashion – n. a popular way of dressing during a particular time or among a particular group of people

casual – adj. not formal or planned

phenomenon – n. someone or something that is very impressive or popular especially because of an unusual ability or quality

style – n. a way of behaving; a custom, look or appearance

trend – n. a way of doing things that has become popular

dress – n. a piece of clothing for a woman or a girl that has a top part that covers the upper body and a skirt that hangs down to cover the legs

sustainableadj. related to a way of harvesting so that the material is not permanently damaged

accessory – n. something added to something else to make it more useful, attractive, or effective