Throughout Kate Middleton’s first year of married life, the Duchess has donned a slew of tasteful and decidedly quiet outfits that inevitably landed tenfold in the press—-each one leaking online with increased excitement.
There’s no doubt that the brands the Duchess supports have experienced unforeseen growth, selling out of Middleton’s favorite pieces in a matter of days, sometimes even hours.
Though despite the profit-drawing qualities of what retailers now call ‘The Kate Middleton Effect,’ The Sunday Times recently published an article drawing attention to the phenomenon’s reverse implications. The (paywalled) piece, which was picked up by international outlets, including The Daily Beast, noted that after Middleton wore Links of London’s Hope drop-style earrings in her official engagement photos, the brand quickly sold out of the style at such an accelerated rate that they were unable to produce additional stock at the necessary speed, leading to an onslaught of counterfeits that cost the brand $12.6 million in potential profits. Titled, “Kate’s Favourite Jeweller Loses £8m to Net Pirates,” the article quoted the head of the brand’s online sales team as saying, “The counterfeiters were a lot cleverer than we were at the time of the wedding. We didn’t have that much stock so we started to sell out quite quickly … The counterfeiters took advantage of that by saying they had stock and people were duped into buying them.”
We reached out to Links of London multiple times for comment, and though the brand refused to shed more light on the issue, they implicitly refuted the article’s claims for reasons that still remain unknown. Though, quite literally, the bottom line is that ‘The Kate Middleton Effect’ seems to be a double-edged sword: sell out of a style, increase financial gains, and then lose a good deal of potential profit to counterfeiters who capitalize on a brand’s inability to quickly produce additional stock.