‘Kate Middleton Effect’ Boosts U.K. Clothing SalesBy: Brian Powell - March 31, 2014
The “Kate Middleton Effect” (or “Kate Effect” for short) is an oft used term by the media to describe the effect that Kate Middleton has on the world around her, most specifically the fashion industry. While the term may have seemed a bit hyperbolic at first, recently revealed data shows that the “Kate Effect” is more powerful than anyone could have imagined.
The “Kate Effect” truly began on a quaint day in April 2011 when she married current Prince of England and Duke of Cambridge, William. Since that day, women across the world have been clamoring to get their hands on the latest fashion worn by the newly minted Princess of England and Duchess of Cambridge.
Early speculation pegged the “Kate Effect” as a multi-billion dollar boon to the economy of the United Kingdom, with many news outlets reporting that the “Kate Effect” had boosted the U.K. economy by $1 billion, with other estimates going as high as $2 billion.
After a recent financial report released by British maternity clothing line Seraphine, however, that contribution of the “Kate Effect” is no longer speculation.
Profits for Seraphine quadrupled this past year after the Princess decided to release the first photographs of her newborn child while wearing one of the company’s fuchsia dresses.
For 2013, Seraphine posted a £1.1m profit before taxes, up from a £0.25m profit in 2012. Seraphine also saw a 60 percent increase in turnover.
Chelsey Oliver, the creative director of Seraphine, contributed the majority of the gain to the Princess, stating, “We were the only specialist maternity retailers that were seen to be dressing her during her pregnancy, which put us on the map. The fuchsia Jolene dress was the really big cherry on the cake but we benefited from the overall message about who we were to the Duchess of Cambridge.”
Oliver went on to explain that the main reason Kate had such influence on Seraphine sales was due to her down-to-earth appeal: “She was wearing a maternity brand post pregnancy and she was saying to the world, ‘I’m a real woman, I’m not jumping back into tiny fitted clothes’. On top of her looking great, her message was such a good one.”
While the “Kate Effect” has certainly spurred business in the United Kingdom, it has also had an adverse effect toward certain high-end businesses. In 2012, Kate Middleton knock-off products cost jewelers nearly $10 million.
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