Earlier this week it was announced that the global fashion capital was London. London beat out fierce contenders such as Milan, New York and Paris for the top spot. There has been somewhat of a British musical invasion again with new British artists finding fame in the US market (Adele and One Direction, anyone?) which is almost impossible to crack as an outsider. Now it seems that British fashion is dominating the world too. Some incredible British designers are making their mark on the industry such as Christopher Bailey for Burberry, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig for Marchesa, respectively. Perhaps London claimed the top spot due to the amount of coverage it garnered with the Olympics this year, but experts believe that it could be mostly down to just one person – The Duchess of Cambridge.
When Prince William announced his engagement to Kate Middleton on November 16th, 2010, most of the world wondered who Kate was (The Brits had known for a while), while others were entranced by her engagement outfit – including the ring! As soon as Kate stepped out in the sapphire blue Issa dress to match her sapphire engagement ring, she sparked a fashion revolution commonly known as “The Duchess Effect.” The Duchess Effect occurs when someone sees the Duchess of Cambridge in a particular outfit and immediately seeks to buy it, rendering the designer’s website immobile for a few hours and creating a lot of anger with the other people under the Duchess Effect spell. Kate’s wedding dress, for example, has sold out of its duplicates everywhere they were sold and sparked a trend in wedding gowns with sleeves. Everything the Duchess has worn after her wedding has sold out and she has become an amazing brand ambassador for British high fashion and British high street fashion.
She put Sarah Burton on the map and has continuously worn Alexander McQueen since her wedding. She has also brought publicity to designers such as Jenny Packham, Temperley and Issa and also to more pricey high street brands such as Zara, L.K. Bennett and Reiss. The world waits for an event where the Duchess will make an appearance in order to see what she will wear next. Some critics have argued that the Duchess dresses too old for her age but the majority don’t agree and ladylike fashions can be seen all over. She has become a style icon around the world and a muse to the designers who, in some cases, have increased their business capital 60% thanks to the Duchess. Celebrities in America are now
wearing designs by Jenny Packham, like Nina Dobrev at Entertainment Weekly’s 6th Comic-Con Celebration, and Blake Lively at the David Letterman Show and
“The Duchess Effect” has been pivotal to the British fashion brand. It has become globally recognized, accepted and adored. Kate Middleton has done more for British fashion than anyone before her, except perhaps, the late Princess Diana of Wales. As long as Kate remains to be an ambassador, British fashion will reign.