Meghan Markle paid homage to Australian fashion by adorning herself in some of the nation’s top designers during her tour Down Under in 2018.
But local Queensland denim business Outland, who were pleasantly surprised to see the Duchess of Sussex in their ‘Harriet’ jeans during her countryside visit, are still feeling the effects of her royal approval one year later.
Founders James and Erica Bartle have just opened a finishing facility in Cambodia to reach a broader range of customers overseas – and have been able to employ 46 new seamstresses in the process.
Meghan Markle paid homage to Australian fashion by adorning herself in some of the nation’s top designers during her tour Down Under in 2018 (wearing Outland)
But local Queensland denim business Outland, who were pleasantly surprised to see the Duchess of Sussex in their ‘Harriet’ jeans during her countryside visit, are still feeling the effects of her royal approval one year later
Outland, who work with women rescued from human trafficking, has thanked the ‘Markle Effect’ for their continued success internationally.
‘Meghan Markle’s support, and the support of the public following, has certainly fast-tracked our growth and been the instigator in opportunities we could only have dreamt of a year ago,’ James Bartle told the Daily Telegraph.
‘You cannot put a price on the brand recognition nor the credibility that the Duchess is able to bestow on a small, socially oriented enterprise such as ours.’
Meghan has worn her Outland Denim jeans (pictured) four times during the royal tour, and the royal seal of approval has meant a huge amount to the ethical brand
The jeans have been worn by women all around the world after Meghan Markle was spotted in them
Meghan’s Outland ‘Harriet’ denim jeans were such a mainstay in her royal tour wardrobe that the Duchess recycled and re-wore them no less than four times.
‘In the two weeks since Meghan Markle first wore Outland jeans in Dubbo, Outland’s global sales have increased 2374 per cent, while the global online traffic has increased by over 3,000 per cent,’ a spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia previously.
The brand also gained 8,000 new Instagram followers in 24 hours, while Meghan’s ‘Harriet’ style of jeans sold out within that same time period.
‘When you think about the fact that what we try to do with Outland is imbue our staff members in Cambodia with a sense of dignity in their work and their value as human beings, a quiet, dignified royal endorsement such as this, while unofficial in the sense that we don’t have a Kensington Palace seal/badge, is incredibly helpful,’ James said.
‘Our staff can’t quite believe a Duchess is wearing their jeans.’
Daily Mail Australia also spoke to other Australian designers the Duchess wore on the tour, and asked them what it meant to be featured.
Meghan’s Dion Lee blue dress (pictured) was one of the sartorial hits of her ‘tourdrobe’, and Sydney-based designer, Dion Lee, has noticed a huge amount of global attention since
Meghan’s Dion Lee Folded Sail blue dress was arguably one of the greatest sartorial hits of her illustrious ‘tourdrobe’, and Sydney-based designer, Dion Lee, noticed a huge amount of global attention following Meghan’s outfit.
‘Following Meghan wearing the Dion Lee dress, they had over 600 enquiries for pre-order and their following on Instagram jumped by 5,000,’ a spokesperson told FEMAIL.
Such was the strength of the ‘Meghan Effect’ that the brand’s website crashed just minutes after the first photos of Meghan in the custom-made creation surfaced.
‘Following Meghan wearing the Dion Lee dress, they had over 600 enquiries for pre-order and their following on Instagram jumped by 5,000,’ a spokesperson from the brand told FEMAIL
‘It’s a whole other level,’ Lee explained to FEMAIL on the day of Meghan’s outfit choice. ‘I can’t say our website has ever crashed as a result of anyone wearing our clothes.
‘The dress was custom made for Meghan Markle and will now go into production in the Resort 2019 collection.
‘It will drop into store in January 2019. The dress is called the Folded Sail Dress and retails for $1290 RRP,’ he said.
However, he also added that pre-order would be available from that afternoon.
According to Google Trends data, interest spiked in Karen Gee at 9am on the day Meghan Markle wore the designer (pictured)
On the first official day of the royal tour, Meghan wore the $1,800 ‘Blessed’ dress by Karen Gee, prompting the website to crash within minutes.
The website described the dress as ‘a simple, structured fit designed to contour the body for a sleek silhouette’, and interest spiked at around 9am according to Google Trends data.
This data reported interested parties from not only Australia, but the US and Canada.
Those trying to log on at the time received error messages, with the page unable to load. However, this issue was quickly resolved, before ‘hundreds of thousands’ of people got onto the site to try to place orders.
‘There has been a lot of interest and communication for quite some time now,’ Karen Gee explained about Meghan’s sartorial choice.
‘I am totally overwhelmed. There are obviously so many incredible designers in Australia and for her to love the brand and choose Karen Gee is an absolute honour.’
The editor of Vogue, Edwina McCann, even said that Meghan’s support of Karen Gee was a ‘game changer’ for the label.
The Duchess of Sussex wore Melbourne-based designer, Martin Grant, several times during the royal tour, including his trench coat (pictured)
‘We have had an absolutely huge increase in sales since the Duchess wore our brand, a spokesperson told FEMAIL. ‘We don’t even have a number on it at this stage,’ a spokesperson said
The dresses Meghan wore (pictured), however, have helped to put the designer on the global fashion map
Martin Grant was another of the lesser-known labels that Meghan Markle has given a huge boost to, after the Duchess wore three of Martin’s designs at different points during the tour.
Firstly, the Duchess wore Melbourne-based Martin’s trench coat while in Sydney and Melbourne, before she wore his Maxi Stripes dress on Bondi Beach and then the Khaki and White Stripes Shirt dress in Tonga.
‘We have had an absolutely huge increase in sales since the Duchess wore our brand, a spokesperson told FEMAIL. ‘We don’t even have a number on it at this stage.
‘The top three retailers for the brand, however, are Moda Operandi, Barney’s and Tomorrowland.
‘We have also been inundated with calls from clients to our office to order the looks directly.’
The brand also said that when Kensington Palace got in touch, Meghan’s personal stylist had several looks sent to London.
‘Within three days, we remade everything with her measurements, so the looks are totally bespoke.’
‘We have also been inundated with calls from clients to our office to order the looks directly,’ a Martin Grant spokesperson said (pictured in Martin Grant)
When Meghan Markle first wore Oroton’s cross body bag in April, many fashion commentators were quick to say she might have saved the brand from bankruptcy
She then wore the brand again on tour, and due to popularity, Oroton reported the Black & Cream Oroton Avalon Cross Body bag would be available to pre-order for a January delivery
When Meghan Markle first wore Oroton’s cross body bag in April, many fashion commentators were quick to say she might have saved the brand from bankruptcy.
And when the Duchess wore the bag again in Sydney, it proved to be another lifeline for the struggling brand, which went into administration last year.
Due to popularity, Oroton reported the Black & Cream Oroton Avalon Cross Body bag would be available to pre-order for a January 2019 delivery.
Oroton chief executive Ross Lane said Meghan wearing the bag came as a pleasant surprise and it was a ‘huge endorsement of our new creative direction’.