The new capsule wardrobe by Meghan Markle consists of five carefully designed pieces and will benefit women at the Smart Works charity, devoted to helping women find job-appropriate clothing and employment opportunities, of which she is royal patron.
The duchess has described the initiative as “Not a handout, a hand, held.” Meghan Markle is understood to have approached the retailers directly to pitch her simple but effective idea, and most of the retailers are donating on a “like for like” basis.
The launch event remained shrouded in secrecy Thursday morning even as some of the items were available to buy online hours ahead of the launch, including a John Lewis tote bag retailing at £109 and a £19.50 “Smart Set” crepe shift dress from Marks and Spencer, billed as “a staple in your autumn wardrobe.” The other items include a blazer and pants by Jigsaw and a crisp white shirt from designer, and personal friend of Meghan’s, Misha Nonoo.
“Since moving to the U.K., it has been deeply important to me to meet with communities and organizations on the ground doing meaningful work and to try to do whatever I can to help them amplify their impact,“ Meghan Markle said in a statement released before the launch event.
She has been closely involved with the project from start to finish and revealed the initiative in the issue of British Vogue she guest-edited last month. It was apparently Meghan’s idea to recruit British high street brands as well as her friend designer Misha Nonoo, to join forces on an exclusive capsule collection for the charity,
The Duchess, who had her own clothing line with Canadian retailer Reitman’s while working on Suits in Toronto, wrote in Vogue that the clothes usually offered by Smart Works “can be a potpourri of mismatched sizes and colours.
Meghan has said (via Instagram) that she wants to “empower the women of Smart Works to look and feel 100% as they bravely venture in to what can often be a daunting environment for those who have been out of the job market”.