Meghan Markle has made the transition from actress to royal to mother — and now, she’s adding yet another job into the mix. The Duchess of Sussex is stepping out of maternity leave to launch her very own capsule collection of women’s professional wear on September 12.
The collection, which she created in collaboration with friend and designer Misha Nonoo, is equal parts fashion venture and philanthropic endeavor. The collection will benefit Markle’s patronage, SmartWorks, which provides career tips and professional attire for underprivileged women. For every piece purchased from this capsule collection, another will be donated to SmartWorks.
But Markle’s latest undertaking isn’t just significant because it represents a step into the fashion world (or yet another entry into the philanthropic world), but also because it is her first official work engagement since she welcomed baby Archie with husband, Prince Harry, in May. While she may not have had a traditional maternity leave, this new engagement marks the end of the four months she spent largely out of the public eye (or at least as far out of the public eye as Meghan Markle can be!). Though she’s made a few appearances since giving birth (including one particularly memorable outing featured the new mom holding a jersey bearing her son’s name), this is certainly the most official step out of maternity leave we’ve seen thus far.
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Spotlight on: Smart Works We are proud to be supporting a very special initiative this autumn for @SmartWorksCharity! After quiet visits to Smartworks over the last year, The Duchess was moved by the impactful work being done by this non profit organisation that helps women into the workforce, equipping them with both the skills and clothes they need to feel job-ready. Throughout her visits she noticed that while the donations were plentiful, they were also notably a combination of mismatched items and colours which weren’t always the right stylistic choices or sizes that didn’t necessarily “suit” the job at hand: to make a woman feel confident and inspired as she walked into her job interview. As a result, launching this autumn, The Duchess will be supporting a collective to help equip the women of Smart Works with the key workwear essentials they need as they enter into the workplace. This initiative is supported by four generous brands who share the vision to empower the women of Smart Works to look and feel 💯 as they bravely venture in to what can often be a daunting environment for those who have been out of the job market. The brands have come together to work towards this united force for good, “[reframing] the idea of charity as community,” as The Duchess writes in a piece for this month’s British Vogue. They will follow the 1:1 model where an item from the collection purchased is an item shared with a woman of Smart Works because “not only does this allow us to be part of each other’s story; it reminds us we are in it together.” For more information on how you can be part of another woman’s success story visit @smartworkscharity. Special thanks to: @JohnLewisandPartners, @MarksandSpencer, @MishaNonoo, @InsideJigsaw for supporting this very special organisation. And to find out more, read the September issue of @BritishVogue and stay tuned for more exciting updates this autumn. Photo©️SussexRoyal
“When you walk into a Smart Works space you’re met with racks of clothing and an array of bags and shoes,” Markle writes in the September issue of British Vogue, which she guest edited. “Sometimes, however, it can be a potpourri of mismatched sizes and colors, not always the right stylistic choices or range of sizes…To help with this, I asked Marks & Spencer, John Lewis & Partners, Jigsaw and my friends, the designer Misha Nonoo, if they were willing to design a capsule collection of more classic options for a workwear wardrobe. Taking the idea further, many of the brands agreed to use the one-for-one model: for each item purchased by a customer, one is donated to the charity. Not only does this allow us to be part of each other’s story, it reminds us we are in it together.”
It’s a fitting — no pun intended — next step for a working woman-turned-Royal.