Only a little over a year into her official reign as the Duchess of Sussex, and Meghan Markle is proving to be quite the fashion darling. The newly minted royal has already guest-edited the September issue of British Vogue, and on Thursday she released a fashion collaboration to benefit Smart Works, a charity that provides unemployed women looking for jobs with clothing and coaching.
The fashion project came about when the Duchess became a patron of the organization at the start of the year. After listening to clients who wanted to feel comfortable and confident, the Duchess realized that while the donations were plentiful, they weren't necessarily the key staples needed to anchor an outfit. Plus, the clothes in stock didn't come in every size. So, she turned to British high-street stalwarts Jigsaw, Marks & Spencer and John Lewis, as well as the New York designer and personal friend Misha Nonoo, to help her create a capsule collection of workwear.
The Duchess spent eight months working closely with the charity and brands involved to ensure every aspect of the project is right. Last month, she surprised the Smart Works team when she joined the Smart Set campaign shoot with fashion and travel photographer Jenny Zarins at a central London studio. Instead of using professional models, they worked with three women who had successfully found jobs with the help of Smart Works.
True to the Duchess's own streamlined sense of style, the collection is free of prints and and features classic, office-appropriate cuts. The line consists of a blazer and pants by Jigsaw, a crepe shift dress from Marks & Spencer, a crisp white button-down shirt from Misha Nonoo and a John Lewis leather tote. The pieces range in price from £19.50 to £199 (about $25 to $245), and will be sold online and in stores for a two-week period according to a one-for-one model — for every item purchased, an equivalent will be donated to Smart Works.
In addition to providing a professional wardrobe to Smart Works clients for at least the next year, the collection has also been a chance to shine a light on brands driving the accessible fashion scene in the U.K., just as the fashion industry descends on the capital for London Fashion Week.
Shop the collection in the gallery below: