The 'Meghan Markle Effect' Is Happening in Resale, Too

Secondhand and consignment retailers are seeing growing interest in the actress-turned-royal's preferred brands and styles.
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Meghan Markle at the Women's Empowerment reception hosted by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in London. Photo: Chris Jackson/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Meghan Markle at the Women's Empowerment reception hosted by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in London. Photo: Chris Jackson/WPA Pool/Getty Images

There are less than 10 days until Meghan Markle and Prince Harry exchange vows at Windsor Castle, which means that the "Meghan Markle Effect" is only going to intensify on a global scale. The soon-to-be bride's influence has been growing steadily since she was first seen coupled up with Prince Harry in September 2017, and now designers and brands are going so far as to make strategic business moves — like offering pieces from future collections for pre-order or relocating to larger factories — to keep up with what can sometimes be a sudden, dramatic spike in demand. It's one of the reasons we maintain a column called "Meghan Markle Wore a Thing" — she has the power to bring a fashion label to the world's attention with just one step out of her Nottingham Cottage.

In addition to brands like Line the Label and Strathberry seeing the benefits of Markle's sartorial approval at retail, online secondhand and consignment retailers are seeing growing interest among shoppers around the actress-turned-royal's outfits, too. According to a recent analysis of shopping data from Poshmark, coats and handbags worn by Markle are the most in-demand items on the social marketplace. When she was spotted wearing a Burberry coat in Scotland in February, purchases jumped by 80 percent on Poshmark. And when she wore her favorite Mackage coat during a trip to Ireland in March, purchases of the Canadian label's outerwear increased by a whopping 193 percent.

For accessories, Poshmark has seen purchases of Gucci mini bags, which Markle toted during a Commonwealth reception in April, grow by 214 percent, while Mulberry satchel purchases, spotted back in March on Commonwealth Day, rose by 95 percent. Within the U.S., users from Georgia, Massachusetts, Illinois and Pennsylvania are tapped into Markle's wardrobe the most, with the largest increase in purchases of items that she wore in the past five months. Sellers are seemingly attempting to cash in on the "Meghan Markle Effect," as well, with increased listings of Burberry coats (51 percent), Gucci mini bags (81 percent) and Prada clutches (51 percent). Markle wore the latter during her first semi-formal evening event with Prince Harry earlier this year.

The RealReal, which pulled searches for the month of April, saw slight increases among some brands and dress styles that had been worn by Markle. Floral dresses (like hers by Self-Portrait) are already a big spring trend, but The RealReal noticed a 15 percent jump in inquiries during the month. Though cape dresses are a fairly niche category, searches were up by 10 percent when Markle wore one by Stella McCartney in April. Plus, around the same time that Markle wore a little black dress from Black Halo, searches increased for the Los Angeles-based contemporary brand by 30 percent.

Thredup, which predicts that resale will be bigger than fast fashion within 10 years, explored the correlation between the spikes in sales of Markle's signature styles — belted trenches, A-line skirts, pencil skirts and neutral colors — and the times that she was photographed wearing them. For example, Thredup's sales of pencil skirts have increased by 157 percent since December of last year, while beige A-line skirts (similar to Markle's Joseph skirt) have been selling much more on the site by 75 percent. What's also surprising, notes Thredup, is that the skirts have been selling strong during the winter months, when the category should be trending down. The resale site also noticed that when Markle is spotted wearing something, a surge in sales of that category lasts for one-to-three months.

Rebag also found some "Meghan Markle Effect" trends by category. The designer handbag resale site's customer experience team noticed an uptick in inquiries for neutral colors and structured handbags across their online and brick-and-mortar channels. Rebag users specifically ask for the Chloé "Pixie" bag, which Markle previously wore during a Christmas service, but given how quickly the bag sells, they're lucky if they actually get one, according to the site's spokesperson. Other Markle-favored handbags, such as Gucci's "Dionysus," Chanel's "Gabrielle," Saint Laurent's "Sac de Jour" and Celine's "Trio" crossbody, are bestsellers on the site. (Though, it's worth noting those are all pretty popular handbags in general.)

"The 'Meghan Markle Effect' is substantial and real, much like the influence of many celebrities," stated a spokesperson from Rebag. "We foresee that, in a similar fashion to her counterpart Kate Middleton, there will be more coverage on her style and taste to come and impact our culture further." Come May 19, we have a good feeling that Markle's wedding dress designer will be pretty popular on these consignment and resale sites, too.

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