17 brands that had a great year thanks to Meghan Markle

Chris Jackson/GettyMeghan Markle’s influence on fashion and beauty is known as the ‘Markle Effect.’
  • Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, has what’s known as the “Markle Effect”: everything she wears sells out almost immediately.
  • Markle likes to don both upscale and affordable brands, often boosting their social-media presence after being photographed in their clothes.
  • Many small designers – like Outland Denim and Hiut Denim – have been able to employ more staff members and move to bigger factories because of the heightened exposure.

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, has what’s known as the “Markle Effect.” After she wears an item of clothing from a certain designer or brand, everyone flocks to buy it in an attempt to emulate her “sparkle.”

Since marrying Prince Harry earlier this year and officially assuming her royal duties, all eyes have been on the duchess – or rather, her wardrobe choices. Though she wears many well-known designer duds, Markle has chosen to showcase many lesser-known brands throughout 2018, too.

Outland Denim was able to employ new staff members because of the increase in sales after Markle was pictured wearing their jeans in Australia. Boutique designers like Karen Gee and Martin Grant are now being flooded with orders (and Instagram followers) simply because Markle wore their dresses.

Keep scrolling to see 17 brands that had a fantastic year, all thanks to the Markle Effect.


Aritzia is one of Meghan Markle’s longtime favourites, and the brand’s consumer searches have increased by 68% in the past year because of the duchess.

Getty/WPA Pool/PoolMarkle wearing an Aritzia trench coat at this year’s Invictus Games.

Aritzia is an affordable, ready-to-wear Canadian retailer that Markle has been a longtime fan of. According to what Aritzia told investors, the brand experienced a sales boost after Markle being photographed wearing their clothing.

According to fashion search engine Lyst, consumer searches for Aritzia have increased by 68% within the last year. The biggest surge of Aritzia searches occurred in April, specifically the day after Markle donned their Babaton Lawson green trench coat (shown above).


Canadian brand Mackage got 1.6 billion media impressions hours after Markle was photographed wearing one of their coats.

Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty ImagesMarkle wearing a Mackage coat in Northern Ireland.

Mackage is a Canadian clothing company that specialises in luxury outerwear. According to a report by Women’s Wear Daily, in the hours after Markle wore Mackage’s Mai coat on a trip to Northern Ireland, the brand got nearly 1.6 billion social-media impressions. On another day when Markle wore Mackage, their site traffic quadrupled.


Markle carried a chic Oroton bag, and it may save the brand from bankruptcy.

Getty ImagesMarkle carrying an Oroton bag.

Oroton is a luxury fashion-accessories company from Australia that is known for its leather handbags. The Duchess of Sussex turned heads wearing one of their black and white bags at London’s Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting this spring.

The $US221 Avalon Zip Top bag sold out immediately, and the boost could save the brand from bankruptcy, as it had entered voluntary admission (an early form of bankruptcy) last year because of low sales.

Oroton CEO Ross Lane spoke out to express his excitement about Markle’s love of the brand, saying, “Meghan is a modern style icon and this is a huge endorsement of our new creative direction.”


Hiut Denim moved to a bigger factory thanks to Markle’s exposure.

Getty ImagesMarkle wearing black Hiut Denim jeans.

Welsh brand Hiut Denim experienced a huge boost in publicity and sales after Markle wore their jeans on her visit to Cardiff, Wales, this January. According to Harper’s Bazaar, the company needed to move to a larger factory in order to deal with the high volume of orders and a three-month wait list.

Hiut Denim cofounder David Hieatt told the Daily Mail: “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.”


After Markle wore a Strathberry bag on her first royal engagement, the purse sold out in 11 minutes.

Getty ImagesMarkle carrying her Strathberry bag.

Shortly after Markle and Harry got engaged, the future duchess made her first royal engagement visiting Nottingham, England. For the occasion, she carried a burgundy bag by lesser-known Scottish brand Strathberry, and, as a result, the brand was immediately catapulted to international recognition.

The bag sold out within in 11 minutes after Markle was photographed wearing it, according to Elle UK. 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.”


Markle wore Outland Denim twice during her recent tour of Australia, and the company said the exposure allowed them to hire more staff members.

Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty ImagesMarkle paired a blazer from Serena Williams’ new fashion label, Serena, with Outland Denim black jeans.

The Markle Effect was in full swing during the duke and duchess’ tour of Australia. Markle donned a chic, casual pair of Outland Denim jeans on two separate appearances during the tour, giving the eco-friendly brand plenty of publicity.

Outland Denim tweeted that they were able to employ up to 30 more seamstresses in their Cambodian production house because of the exposure.

“Thanks to the Duchess’ choice in denim,” the brand announced, “the recruitment process has already begun.”

Outland Denim is also a brand with a cause, as it aims to support young women in the garment industry by providing livable wages and fair working conditions, according to their website.


Markle rocked an eco-conscious Reformation sundress — and it’s still sold out online.

Kirsty Wigglesworth/Pool/Getty ImagesThe duchess in a Reformation sundress.

Reformation is an affordable, sustainable clothing company that prides itself on eco-friendly methods and materials, and Markle surprised many when she donned one of their sundresses in Australia.

This marked the first time the duchess stepped out in a dress by the brand, and the “Pineapple Dress” is still sold out on Reformation’s website. There’s a waitlist for it in every size.

Yael Aflalo, founder and CEO of Reformation, said in an exclusive statement to INSIDER: “At Reformation, our brand was built on sustainability, and we want our customers to become educated and take steps in leading a more sustainable lifestyle. Having someone like Meghan Markle wear a sustainable brand increases awareness, helps educate a large consumer base, and proves that ‘green’ fashion doesn’t mean sacrificing your style.”


The duchess boosted her friend Serena Williams’ new clothing line by showing off a grey Serena blazer.

Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImageWearing a jacket from Williams’ new fashion label, Serena.

Tennis legend Serena Williams launched her namesake clothing line in May, and Markle, her friend since 2010, wore a piece from it during a recent appearance in Australia.

Williams showed her excitement on Instagram, sharing a picture of the duchess in the blazer and writing, “The face you make when you and Meghan have matching @serenablazers ????.”

Of course, the blazer immediately sold out online, and the brand supported Markle on Instagram, as well, encouraging customers to “be the ROYAL that YOU are” by shopping Serena.

The blazer is still sold out in sizes XS, L, and XL.


Markle also shone a light on lesser-known designer Karen Gee this year, causing Gee’s website to crash several times.

Pool/Samir Hussein/Getty ImagesWearing a sleek shift dress by Karen Gee.

Markle stepped out in this white shift dress by lesser-known Australian designer Karen Gee on day one of her Australia tour, and, as a result, Gee was catapulted into the spotlight.

According to Harper’s Bazaar, Gee’s website crashed after Markle was photographed wearing the dress, and it continued to crash throughout the day. The dress, which retails at $US1,285, is now featured on the homepage.

Gee has expressed her admiration of Markle on Instagram, in addition to her excitement surrounding the newfound exposure and “incredible amount of interest” in her brand. After Markle made the cover of US Weekly wearing the dress, Gee posted:

“Thankyou to all the wonderful people sending articles/pictures throughout the world. How grateful I am to have this enormous support everywhere ???? #kgblessed.”


Everyone wanted Rothy’s flats after Markle slipped them on at the beach.

Pool/Getty ImagesMarkle wearing a pair of Rothy’s flats on the first day of her Australia tour.

Markle traded in her Manolo Blahnik heels for a pair of black flats while headed to the beach in Melbourne, Australia.

But these weren’t any ordinary black flats – they were one of the duchess’ favourite brands, Rothy’s. Rothy’s, a small startup in San Francisco, makes sustainable shoes from “100% post-consumer plastic water bottles, which are hot washed, sterilized, then fused into a fibre that is then knit into yarn,” according to Business Insider.

Rothy’s was excited to see Markle choosing their point shoe, which heightened the small brand’s exposure. They posted about it on Instagram, saying, “Spotted: Meghan Markle ditching her heels for our favourite Black Solid Point! ????????.”


And speaking of footwear: the internet loved Markle’s Veja sneakers, and the brand’s social media has since spiked in popularity.

Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesMarkle in Veja sneakers.

French brand Veja is known for its sustainable footwear. The brand uses materials like tilapia skin and curdled milk to craft their unique sneakers.

Markle donned a white pair, which cost about $US150, in Australia with Harry, and the women’s shoes immediately sold out online. To top that off, according to social-media data compiled by People, Veja’s Instagram gained over 5,000 followers the day after the duchess was photographed wearing the sneakers.


Paris-based designer Martin Grant also received a social-media boost after Markle wore two of his pieces in Australia.

Pool/Getty ImagesMarkle in a Martin Grant sundress in Australia.

Like Karen Gee, Paris-based Martin Grant is a lesser-known designer, and the Duchess of Sussex has worn three of his pieces throughout this year’s royal tour: a flowy, striped sundress ($US1,420, sold out), a chic beige trench coat ($US1,690, sold out), and, more recently, a striped shirtdress.

According to People’s social-media data, Grant’s Instagram began to spike after Markle wore the sundress, gaining 6,600 followers in just two days. Grant has since posted multiple photos of Markle on his brand’s Instagram, highlighting her recent striped look from his 2019 spring/summer collection.


Upscale ready-to-wear designer Veronica Beard has been a longtime favourite of Markle’s.

Pool/Getty ImagesDonning an electric-blue Veronica Beard wrap dress alongside Prince Harry.

Markle has been donning Veronica Beard clothing for years, and was even featured as a “Mover & Shaker” on the brand’s blog back in 2016.

Since she’s become Duchess of Sussex, Markle has showcased many pieces from the label. She wore Veronica Beard’s black Adley Pants during a visit to Edinburgh, Scotland, in February and an electric-blue dress on her recent tour of Australia.

Veronica Beard’s Instagram shared a picture of Markle in the dress, mentioning their newfound global exposure and saying, “Meghan Markle, HRH The Duchess of Sussex, looking beautiful in our Cary dress in the Kingdom of Tonga.”

A representative for Veronica Beard did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Mixing high-end and affordable brands has become a Markle staple, and J.Crew has benefited.

Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesThe duchess styled this Carolina Herrera denim dress with a clutch from J.Crew.

According to Refinery29, Markle’s wardrobe is worth over $US1 million, but that doesn’t stop her from mixing high-end pieces with affordable fashion elements.

Markle has worn pieces from popular, preppy clothing brand J.Crew on a few occasions. She carried this $US88 clutch at a polo game earlier this year, and it immediately sold out online. Another navy blue coat was recently restocked by the company due to a continuously high volume of orders. And Markle’s minimalist black booties from J.Crew remain completely sold out.


And sometimes, she just opts for the affordable, like this ASOS maternity dress.

Getty/Hagen HopkinsThe duchess styled her ASOS maternity dress with a plaid jacket.

In late October, Markle stepped off the aeroplane in Wellington, New Zealand, wearing a $US56 ASOS dress, one of her most affordable fashion choices to date.

The dress is part of ASOS’ maternity line, though it also comes in a non-maternity silhouette. The “Maternity wiggle mini dress” immediately went out of stock on ASOS’ website after it was identified on Markle, joining the ranks of Reformation and other ready-to-wear brands that have sold out because of the Markle Effect.


The duchess chose Clare Waight Keller of Givenchy to design her wedding dress, giving the designer and the brand unparalleled publicity.

Ben STANSALL – WPA Pool/Getty ImagesHarry and Markle’s wedding.

After intense speculation, Markle stepped out on her wedding day in a Givenchy gown designed by Clare Waight Keller. One of the coolest details of the custom-made look was its veil, which included a flower from each of 53 countries in England’s commonwealth.

According to Vogue, Keller will now be in lifelong demand for her designs because of the dress, and “the effect on Givenchy’s business will surely be too great to put into words.”


Markle rocked ripped denim at last year’s Invictus Games, and the pair of Mother jeans she wore are finally back in stock.

Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty ImagesMarkle wearing Mother jeans at last year’s Invictus Games.

The jeans that started it all.

Markle made waves in her pre-duchess days for wearing ripped denim at the Invictus Games. She donned this light, slightly frayed pair last year, and even back then, the jeans immediately sold out after Markle was pictured wearing them. There was a 400-person waitlist, according to Bustle.

Mother has had to restock the $US228 jeans twice since last year, and they finally were restocked for a third time in June. The brand also reissued them globally this time, and (as of now) they’re still available online.

The product’s new description reads, “Fit for royalty.”

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