Any time the future Ms. Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, shows up, the cameras are flashing, and that’s great news for the designers who dress the hugely-popular soon-to-be royal and certified fashion plate.
A recent article in the Associated Press underscored the power Markle has over the fashion industry, and how incredible it can be for a brand to be seen worn by Prince Harry’s bride-to-be. When Markle was seen sporting a Bojana Sentaler coat while leaving a Christmas Day church service, Sentaler’s website lit up like New Year’s Eve. Sentaler told the AP seeing those signature cuffs on the coat was “the best Christmas present I could ever wish for!”
Sentaler is not alone in experiencing the pop from what some in the fashion PR industry are calling the “Markle Effect.” Wherever Meghan goes, she creates a stir, cameras record every move, and close-ups give fashionistas a look to aspire to. How powerful is the mere act of a prospective royal wearing your brand? Well, Sentaler’s coat in the style worn by Markle for that Christmas service sold out almost immediately. Meanwhile, the buzz around Sentaler’s website created additional subsequent sales that lasted for days after the initial rush. So powerful was the royal push, Sentaler told the AP she plans to expander her London operations… all because Meghan wore her coat to walk outside.
Meanwhile, countless other designers and other professionals in the fashion and event industries are gearing up, hoping to get a piece of what’s expected to be a $210 bump in the British economy thanks entirely to Markle wearing certain clothes or choosing certain decorations and affectations for her coming nuptials. And that’s just a portion of the $300 million the wedding itself is supposed to generate.
Between Markle and fellow royal bride, Kate Middleton, designers are experiencing meteoric rises in fame and fortune, resetting ideas about the potential power of celebrity endorsement in the industry.
Fashion industry commentators are saying the two ladies offer something more than exposure, though. They are living what many still think of as the quintessential ‘fairy tale,’ marrying a literal prince. This dynamic, observers conclude, adds yet another dimension to the power of their representation in the fashion world.
That dynamic is powerful enough, it seems, to change not only the fortunes of brands, but also the firms that cover those brands. The AP reports that, after Markle chose a Hiut Denim Company jean for a recent appearance, a Welsh-based PR firm had to go out and re-hire workers it had previously let go, due to the increased demand. Multiple people received full-time employment because Meghan wore a pair of pants.
Ronn Torossian is a public relations leader and executive