Forget Olivia Palermo or Chiara Ferragni – when it comes to fashion influencers (the kind that have the power to deplete our bank balance straight after payday), Meghan Markle is pretty much unrivaled.
The chic royal is such #stylegoals that she has topped the list of this year’s most searched-for fashion influencers, beating style Instagrammers with followers in the millions. The research compiled by fashion platform Lyst, as part of its The Year in Fashion report, analyzed the shopping habits of over 104 million people worldwide to find the most popular brands, trends, and tastemakers of the past 12 months.
It found that the outfits sported by the Duchess of Sussex sparked an average 216 percent increase in searches for similar pieces, with droves of shoppers clamoring to find identical looks. Whether she’s rocking a casual button-down or dressed up in a preppy midi dress, the royal’s signature LA-meets-London style has clearly been a major inspiration this year. Markle’s sartorial choices have been known to singlehandedly change the fortunes of fashion brands overnight, especially since she went public on her relationship with Prince Harry.
Thanks to her love for mixing high street with high-end, the “Meghan effect” went into overdrive in 2019, with Lyst reporting that it was during the royal tour of South Africa that her sartorial power hit its peak. Here, we take a look back at some of the most influential items that the duchess has worn over the years.
The Veja Trainers
When Markle was photographed wearing a pair of box-fresh Veja ‘V-10’ trainers during the couple’s official royal tour in Australia, Lyst revealed that online searches for the sustainable shoes shot up by 118 percent. The French label has since become one of the hottest footwear brands on Instagram, with celebs and influencers alike copying her look.
The Club Monaco Dress
The duchess looked incredible when she donned a floaty Club Monaco dress to meet Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu while she was in South Africa with Prince Harry and baby Archie. No surprise then that the dress sold out online in under 24 hours following a 570 percent increase in searches.
The J.Crew Skirt
Anyone who closely studies Markle’s fashion movements will know that she’s a huge fan of J.Crew – she has been spotted wearing the American brand on more than one occasion. This monochrome midi skirt was a particular hit with fans, though, with internet searches for the brand increasing by 102 percent after she was pictured wearing it in South Africa.
The Line Coat
Remember that coat? When the royal couple announced they were getting married, the bride-to-be sent the internet into overdrive by wearing a white coat from Line. The belted beauty sold out completely online, and it was so popular that the founder of the brand announced there wouldn’t be any more stock until March of the following year.
The Hiut Denim Jeans
Of all the clothing items that Markle has sparked sell-outs for, this pair of jeans might be the most difficult to get your hands on. The Hiut Denim ‘Dina’ jeans she wore on a royal outing to Cardiff are the work of a small Welsh brand that was overwhelmed by the sudden interest from royal fashion fans. Its co-founder David Hiett even told Daily Mail that the company was moving to a bigger factory to cope with the high demand of orders.
If that isn’t fashion influence, we don’t know what is.