- Chris Jackson / Getty
- When Meghan Markle or Kate Middleton wear a new item in public, it’s not uncommon for it to sell out almost immediately.
- Canadian retailer Aritzia told investors that it had experienced a boost in sales in the first quarter after Markle had been photographed wearing its clothing.
- “By all accounts, Meghan remains a huge fan of Aritzia,” the store’s CEO and founder, Brian Hill, said during a call with investors.
The world has gone Meghan Markle mad, and it’s playing into the hands of the brands she chooses to dress in.
Markle has followed in the footsteps of her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, to become a global style icon. It’s not unusual for any items that are worn publicly by either of these women to sell out almost immediately.
Canadian retailer Aritzia is the latest store to see a boost from this. In its most recent quarterly results, reported in July, the company said that same-store sales were up by 10.9%. Part of its success was attributed to its celebrity endorsements, including Meghan Markle, the company said.
“By all accounts, Meghan remains a huge fan of Aritzia,” CEO and founder Brian Hill told investors during a call this month.
Hill added that after Markle was photographed in one of the company’s trench coats, it sold out within six hours.
While Markle is actually from the United States, she spent seven years in Toronto filming on the set of “Suits,” and it was here that she likely came into contact with the brand.
Aritzia isn’t the only designer to profit from the so-called “Meghan effect.” When Markle and Prince Harry announced their engagement in November, Markle’s $750 white coat from Canadian brand Line The Label sold out minutes after the photos were released, crashing the brand’s website.
The P.A.R.O.S.H. dress and Aquazzura shoes she wore also sold out almost immediately.
Find out more about the affordable Canadian brand that Markle loves:
Aritzia was founded in Vancouver in 1984.
Since then, the company has grown to have 65 stores in Canada and 22 in the US.
- Business Insider/Mary Hanbury
The company plans to open six new stores across the US and Canada in 2018 and early 2019. The next store opening slated for the US is in San Diego.
The store sells a mix of its own labels …
… in addition to well-known brands such as Adidas and Levi’s.
On average, its stores are 6,000 square feet in size and have the feel of an upmarket Urban Outfitters.
- Business Insider/Mary Hanbury
Markle seems to favor two of the store’s more expensive brands: Wilfred and Babaton, which offer simple and sleek designs costing between $30 for a T-shirt and $195 for a trench coat or blazer.
Markle wore a burgundy Aritzia dress for her first public appearance with Prince Harry at the Invictus Games in September 2017.
- Mark Blinch/Reuters
At the time, she was praised for taking on Middleton’s attitude to fashion and wearing more accessible clothing. This dress cost $185.
Markle was later photographed in a Babaton Lawson trench coat at the Invictus Games in April this year. The coat sold out in six hours.
According to fashion search engine Lyst, consumer searches for the Aritzia brand have been up 68% in the past year.
The biggest spike in searches occurred in April, in the 24 hours after Markle wore the Babaton trench coat, a spokesperson for Lyst told Business Insider.
And it’s not just Markle: Aritzia has other royal fans. Princess Beatrice was photographed in one of its leather biker jackets in June.
- Tim P. Whitby / Stringer
It’s unclear whether Aritzia will continue to reap the rewards of having a royal fan. During the investors’ call earlier this month, CFO Todd Ingledew said that now that the Duchess of Sussex is based in the UK, she may feel the pressure to support local designers there. Moreover, Markle’s fashion sense seems to have shifted to more high-end designers such as Givenchy and Dior.
- Charles McQuillan / Getty
“I imagine there’s other pressures being in the royal family and living in the UK and supporting the designers there. So at this point in time really I don’t think it’s something we can push,” Ingledew said during the call.