If you had your pick of Kate Middleton’s dresses, how many fashion gems do you think you’d find? There’s a plethora of McQueen, sure. Boxes and boxes of nude L.K. Bennett courts, obviously. But the Duchess Of Cambridge is also really good at introducing us to niche new brands that we would never previously have heard of.
She’s the ultimate fashion diplomat, whose impeccable style choices have been known to build bridges between nations (remember when she tactically wore Canadian-born British designer Erdem to kick off her royal tour in Ottawa, or wore this dress in Poland?), and the Kate Middleton effect leads to an instant sell-out of any item she wears.
‘There is no question that Kate choosing to wear Reiss has impacted our brand,’ David Reiss, Founder and Managing Director of Reiss told us. ‘We have noticed a significant increase in terms of brand interest and awareness globally, strengthening existing markets and attracting attention in markets we are yet to enter.’
Getting Duchess Kate’s seal of approval is the ultimate honour for any fashion brand, but the impact her endorsement can have on small businesses in particular has been known to literally see tiny labels launch into fully fledged companies overnight.
‘I was so excited the first time I found out that the Duchess had chosen to wear one of our dresses,’ Natasha Rufus Isaacs, co-founder of ethical fashion label Beulah told us. ‘We were a relatively unknown and young label, and it definitely helped spread the word about us and the cause that we support.’
Find out more about Beulah, Reiss and all of Kate Middleton’s favourite high street and designer fashion brands below, plus shop our edit to recreate her wardrobe.
Kate Middleton wearing Ghost
For clap for carers in April 2020 (to show her support for the NHS working during the pandemic), Kate wore a blue floral dress by Ghost, the colour of which was also a nod to the NHS.
Shop now: IDRIS DRESS for £118.30 from GHOST
Kate Middleton wearing Manu Atelier
The Duchess is known for supporting small brands as well as big designers, and she is a fan of British-Turkish bag brand Manu Atelier.
Kate Middleton wearing Alexander McQueen
Let’s start with the Duchess’s ultimate fashion go-to, shall we? Kate loves Sarah Burton’s designs at Alexander McQueen almost as much as she loves Wills. From that stunning lace wedding dress to an entire collection of chic, sharp dresses and occasion coats, Sarah always strikes a perfect balance between McQueen’s house hallmarks (extreme silhouettes, Victorian corsetry and dramatic presence) and Kate’s softer, approachable personality. Every time the pair collaborate, the resulting look is pitch perfect.
Kate Middleton wearing Monica Vinader
British jewellery Monica Vinader has been one of the Duchess’s go-to brands since 2014. She wore the label’s delicate crystal-studded Riva necklace and matching earrings, with a combined cost of £2,750, to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year gala at the National History Museum that year and has since modelled them on multiple engagements. On her tour of Canada in 2016, she accessorised with the brand’s more understated Siren Wire earrings in green onyx to match her emerald hued Dolce and Gabbana dress.
Kate Middleton wearing Reiss
When Duchess Kate wore Reiss’s Shola dress to meet the Obamas in 2011 the impact on sales was instant. ‘The surge in web traffic following the release of the images caused our website to crash, David Reiss, Founder and Managing Director of Reiss told us. ‘The dress promptly sold out online when service was resumed.’ The Duchess’s wardrobe is full of Reiss’s classic dresses including the Nannette and the Trina – both of which also experienced the ‘Kate effect’ in full force when they too sold out in a fashion flash.
Kate Middleton wearing L.K. Bennett
Oh those cream courts. Never has anyone ever been so faithful to a signature shoe. And yet they always look box fresh? We have reason to believe that Kate’s L.K. Bennett collection is housed a mini-wardrobe of its own and comprises of even more classic heels, a few pairs of showstopper sandals and a dozen or so boxes of stockpiled nude ‘Sledge’ pumps.
Kate Middleton wearing Temperley London
Both Middleton sisters love Alice Temperley’s eponymous line (Pippa has even been spotted on the designer’s London Fashion Week front row). And Alice equally loves them back. ‘[Kate is] a brilliant ambassador for British fashion,’ she has said of her regular client, who comes to her for red carpet drama and pretty lace day dresses alike.
Kate Middleton wearing Jenny Packham
Another go-to for red carpet wow gowns and chic maternity ward nighties alike. True glam prevailed, though, when Jenny provided Duchess Kate with this stunning embellished gown for a red carpet-ready party in Hollywood. Does it get any more A-List?
Kate Middleton wearing Le Chameau
Kate’s a country girl at heart and always goes to Le Chameau, manufacturer of the ‘world’s finest rubber boots’ for her, erm, wellies. A ‘maître bottier’ handcrafts each pair of the French heritage brand’s shoes. Because apparently Hunters are just too general public these days.
Kate Middleton wearing Mulberry
A fan of the established Brit label since her uni days, Kate Middleton’s Mulberry bag collection includes a classic black Polly Push Lock and a bright pink Araline, which she once wore with yellow disco hot-pants (well you would, wouldn’t you?).
Kate Middleton wearing Emilia Wickstead
Kate regularly called upon the first lady of British couture while she was pregnant with Prince George, making sure that all of her maternity wear was tailor-made to the royal bump. Wickstead injects a lot of colour into the Duchess’s wardrobe too – we love the floral ensemble Kate wore in September 2019 to visit a garden.
Kate Middleton wearing Russell and Bromley
Kate’s £245 Russell and Bromley wedges have become one of her wardrobe staples. Her go-to styling choice when dressing up those J Brand drainpipes, she’s even played volleyball in the 4inch cork platforms. What a pro.
Kate Middleton wearing Erdem
Clever Kate used her style to unite nations on her Canada tour in 2011, choosing a dress by Canadian-born British designer Erdem Moralioğlu on her first day in Ottawa. Every country (obviously) wanted to take some credit for that masterful use of lace.
Kate Middleton wearing Jimmy Choo
The Duchess’s party shoe of choice – usually something strappy, sky high and shimmering. Proper princess footwear? Now we’re talking. She wore these sequin pumps to a gala dinner at Somerset House in 2019.
Kate Middleton wearing Beulah
Ethical fashion label Beulah use a portion of their profits to help victims of India’s sex trafficking trade. Kate’s helped to raise awareness of the brand and their work, wearing a few of their loose and lightweight dresses when she’s on tours in hot climates.
‘She’s a wonderful ambassador for British fashion and her support definitely raises awareness and recognition of the brand,’ Natasha Rufus Isaacs, co-founder of ethical fashion label Beulah told us. ‘A few of the press picked up on the charity angle on our business, that we help vulnerable and trafficked women and provide an alternative, sustainable livelihood. Raising awareness and funds for the cause is the heart of what we do here at Beulah.’
Kate Middleton wearing Max Mara
Lovely luxe coats are Italian mega-label Max Mara’s specialist subject. Kate’s got about 5 in her winter wardrobe – ideal investment pieces.
Kate Middleton wearing Jaeger
The Duchess of Cambridge loves Jaeger dresses – from this sweet sunshine shirtdress on tour in the Solomon Islands, to the nautical number that she snapped up in the SS14 sale. Who said royalty couldn’t be thrifty?
Kate Middleton wearing Whistles
Black Friday 2021
The Duchess Of Cambridge loves Whistles (here she is wearing their best-selling Carrie pleated skirt in 2011), however, the brand’s chief executive Jane Shepherdson says the ‘Kate effect’ on sales isn’t always as you might expect – thanks to her thriftiness. ‘She wore a blouse [in the royal engagement photos] which was actually from a few seasons ago, which we weren’t running,’ she said. ‘So in that instance, it raised profile certainly, but it didn’t do anything for sales.’
Kate Middleton wearing Goat
Luxury label Goat opened its first stand-alone store in Mayfair in 2014 – no doubt, in part, thanks to the ‘Kate effect’. Kate was spotted (but really, how could you miss her?) in this fuchsia frock on a visit to a London school.
So, which items will you be picking up?