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Meghan Markle’s Maternity Leave is Over & Here’s What She’s Doing Next

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.

“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.

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