Duchess of Cambridge overtakes the Duchess of Sussex as biggest royal fashion influencer

Ciara Sheppard
Photo credit: Samir Hussein - Getty Images

From Harper's BAZAAR

Few rival the Duchess of Sussex and Duchess of Cambridge when it comes to their influence on UK shoppers and the clothes we buy.

When Meghan became engaged to Prince Harry in 2017, her influence on fashion was nothing short of mind-blowing: in the lead up to her wedding, Brand Finance predicted she would inject £150 million into the British economy with fans looking to copy her style.

As recently as last year, search platform Lyst’s 2019 Year in Fashion Report named the 38-year-old as the most influential dresser of the year – a phenomenon coined as 'The Meghan Effect'.

Photo credit: Karwai Tang - Getty Images

However, as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex step back as senior royals in favour of a life in North America with baby Archie, it appears the tides have changed.

Discount clothing retailer LovetheSales.com analysed every outfit worn by the Duchess of Sussex in 2020, and found Meghan's fashion choices lead to a modest 38% average increase in online demand with shoppers looking to imitate her looks.

This is a stark drop from the popularity of her outfits between 2017 and 2019, which sparked a 216% increase in online demand.

The same data was analysed for the Duchess of Cambridge, 38, where it was found her 2020 looks so far have lead to a 159% increase in demand – a noticeable uplift from the 2017 to 2019 period where they averaged 199%.

Meghan's most popular look of the year came from her visit to a school in Dagenham for International Women's Day on 8th March, one of her last engagements as a senior royal.

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For the occasion, she wore a cream boucle jacket by ME and EM, black Alexander McQueen trousers, Jennifer Chamandi nude pumps and a Rejina Pyo weave bag.

According to LovetheSales.com, Meghan's ME and EM jacket sold out online within hours and searches for ‘boucle jackets’ shot up by 92%.

Kate's most influential outfit of 2020 so far was worn on the third day of her tour of Ireland, where the Duchess stepped out in Galway wearing a khaki green Alexander McQueen trench coat, Suzannah London vintage polka dress, black Ralph Lauren suede boots and a Jimmy Choo clutch.

Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images

In the days following, demand for Alexander McQueen shot up by 233% online, while searches for trench coats have soared by 93%.

It's unclear whether the public's preference for Kate's looks over Meghan's this year is merely circumstantial, or whether it in fact ties in which the Duchess of Sussex's move out of the spotlight.

The past week has seen the Sussexes undertake their final duties as senior royals in public eye, as they plan to step down officially on 31st March with their office at Buckingham Palace closing on 1st April 2020.

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