From her role as Rachel Zane in Suits to her new life as the future Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle has made her mark on the fashion world. Pencil skirts, tailored trousers, chic pumps and elegant coats are all in her sartorial repertoire – and everyone wants a slice of her fashion sense! According to experts at business valuation consultancy Brand Finance, that slice represents a mammoth $269 million filtering into the British fashion economy as English shoppers try to mimic her style.
Brand Finance published an annual report stating the British monarchy's economic contributions to the country. In total, the report claims that Meghan and Harry's royal wedding is expected to bring in more than a billion pounds to the country – including $538 million in tourism, with many North Americans keen to travel across the pond to be part of the occasion.
British royalty has long had a staggering effect on fashion, something that has seen a particular resurgence since the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. In the consultancy's 2017 Monarchy report, it states: "A lot of value for British brands comes from the Duchess of Cambridge’s Midas touch and the extra sales of fashion brands that she and the royal children are seen wearing. Sometimes called the ‘royal effect’, or in relation to the Duchess of Cambridge in particular – the ‘Kate effect’, unofficial endorsements have proved a boon to British brands on numerous occasions in the past."
It continues: "Asda reported a 300% sales boost of its beige coats after the Duchess was seen wearing a similar looking Burberry design. G.H. Hurt & Sons’ website recorded 100,000 visits after new-born Princess Charlotte was draped in a shawl by the Nottingham brand. Similarly, the popularity of the Bedfordshire-based family firm Out’n’About grew instantly after the royal couple ordered their pushchair."
Meghan is clearly having the same effect on British shoppers as Duchess Kate, since numerous fashion brands have announced sell-outs after the former actress stepped out in their products. When Meghan went to the Invictus Games with Prince Harry last year, her tortoiseshell sunglasses by Finlay & Co - which retail at $215 – flew off the shelves. Pre-orders came in from over 50 countries from around the world and it took 180 days before they were back in stock online. Similarly, when she wore a Marks & Spencer sweater for a visit to Brixton in January, it sold out in just moments.
Co-founder of Finlay & Co, David Lockhead, even admitted that Meghan’s selling power was greater than the Hollywood A-list, saying: "We have seen a sales uplift in the past from celebrities such as Gigi Hadid and Cara Delevingne wearing Finlay, however, the impact from Meghan has been on a different scale."