From an increase in tourism at Buckingham Palace to a surge in brides renting horses and carriages for their weddings, the Middleton effect is still going strong. The Middleton effect, coined by the media, is the impact that Kate Middleton has on the public. In fact, Tony DiMasso, US President of LK Bennett’s, has said that “she has accelerated sales for us – when she does wear something, it always seems to go on a waiting list.” The British luxury brand saw a 17 percent profit rise in 2012 due to the Princess and has since expanded into the American market.
While some publications call it the Kate effect (with the public being her Copy-Kates), to be specific, her little sister Pippa has also had a prolific influence on the public. From her butt to her new beau (fiancée Nico Jackson is a self-made millionaire!), ladies worldwide want what she’s got. Just this month, Pippa and Nico were spotted dining at London’s trendy resto Bo Lang, with Pippa sporting more than just her fiancée on her arm. Pippa debut her new ‘Marylebone Tote’ by Aspinal, which set her back $1,579. On her feet were her new ‘Alice’ boots by Seven Boot Lane, which cost about $250.
Thanks to a few snaps posted of the two, Middleton’s handbag and boots flew off the shelves. The bag comes in 11 colors and patterns, though if you’re looking to match the brunette beauty, hers was the classic monochrome. Made of luxurious Italian leather, the bag’s gold strap can be personalized just for you. Her suede and leather booties are a great transition piece for spring. However if you’re looking to purchase either item, you may have to wait: they both sold out in just 12 hours.
It helped that this was the second time Pippa had graced the streets of London in these particular boots with this bag in tow. And although her impact on the public’s purchases aren’t quite at the level of Princess Kate (who increased sales for maternity brand Seraphine by a whopping 50% while pregnant with Prince George), Pippa definitely knows how to turn heads. Tabitha Webb, a favorite of both sisters, reported that Pippa’s lacy, peach floral number (the Sundance dress) sold out after she was spotted in it. The dress cost about $450, with a percentage of each purchase going to charity.
The designer, who found herself in the middle of controversy about unpaid bills this past September, is popular with celebrities like Miranda Kerr, Kelly Brook and Ellie Kemper. Although we doubt they cause the same media frenzy when they wear it!
Speaking of popular designs, the Duchess of Cambridge made polka dots the pattern of 2013. Kate stepped out in the pattern on two occasions. First, she wore a TopShop black and white polka dot frock while out and about with her hubby Prince William and brother-in-law Princess Harry. The dress cost just $62, and was paired with a Ralph Lauren jacket. Although not meant as maternity wear, Kate was 6-months pregnant at the time.
The second polka dot gown debuted on July 23, 2013 – the day Kate and baby left the hospital. In a dress that echoed Princess Diana’s when the world met William for the first time, Kate was praised for portraying the look of a “real woman” after giving birth (one who hadn’t shed all her baby weight).
The Jenny Packham dress was made exclusively for Kate and will not be available to the public. We’re sure many “Copy-Kates” were disappointed, but they’ve been looking elsewhere it seems. George.com reportedly sold 5,000 polka dot items (from dresses to tops, skirts to ballet slippers) within hours of the Princess wearing it. ASOS, another favorite of Kate, has made their own spotty dress that goes for $102.
While pregnant, Kate also wore an ASOS Maternity Belted Dress with Scoop Neck in navy. The dress was $42, and although they didn’t completely sell out, they had so many purchases they plan to expand with more colors. A chic MaxMara wrap dress, that the royal wore while pregnant, also was snapped up and out of stock within hours. The grey pattern dress cost $195.
After giving birth, the Princess put on a very regal-yet-relaxed purple dress for her first family portrait with William, George and their two dogs. How long did it take for this dress to sell out? A mere two hours! The Seraphine dress sold out in every colour, but for those who were still itching to get their hands on the reasonably priced number ($79), there was a four-week waiting list. Other celebs who have purchased from Seraphine include mommies like Angelina Jolie, January Jones, Jessica Alba, Jennifer Garner and Kate Hudson. The sales for the brand were up over 100% in July.
Although her maternity wear has been quite popular, the trend is nothing new. Kate donned $450 Links of London Hope Egg earnings for her official engagement portrait. The classic treasures were a hit among the public. However, like with previous items that have sold out, Links of London say they lost over $13 million in revenue. The jeweller didn’t have enough stock, and people turned to knockoffs and cheap replicas instead.
This isn’t the first company to report issues from a Kate-inspired buying frenzy. The website for the fashion brand Reiss crashed after Kate wore their beige bandage dress in a visit to the White House to meet President Obama and First Lady Michelle. They sold one dress per minute after the meeting, and Reiss’ profits doubled that year.
It’s not just dresses donned by the Princess that has the public going crazy. Kate’s worn coral-colored jeans out several times in the past few years, and George saw a spike of 471% in sales of colored demin since. We can’t wait to see what new spring/summer trends that not only Kate, but also her sister Pippa tries out. Bold colors and dramatic spring coats seem right for the classic Kate’s, while the bolder Pippa may want to check out some new lace numbers. Who knows what will fly off the shelves next!