Meghan and Kate. Photo by Clive Mason / Getty Images
Photo by Clive Mason / Getty Images

Kate or Meghan: Who Really Has the Most Influence on Fashion?

June 2019In Data Drop4 Minutes

Duchesses Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle regularly provide fashion inspiration to customers around the world, more often than not prompting specific items to sell out. Based on the analysis of over 20 million search queries over the past two years, Lyst has examined some of the most talked-about fashion moments from Kate and Meghan to find out who really has the most influence.

Meghan’s Outfit Choices Trigger the Highest Online Demand

On average, Kate Middleton’s fashion choices lead to a 119% increase in online demand over the week following a public appearance. When it comes to Meghan Markle’s ensembles, however, demand more than doubles, going up an average of 216%.

So far this year, Kate’s most influential fashion moment happened in March, when she wore a red Catherine Walker coat for the Commonwealth Day services at Westminster Abbey. Online searches for similar models instantly doubled, going up 225%.

Photo by Chris Jackson / Getty Images

Meghan’s most influential sartorial choice also happened in March, when she wore a stylish silver and gold brocade dress to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Prince Charles’ Investiture at Buckingham Palace. Over the following 24 hours, her ensemble triggered a 500% rise in online demand for brocade dresses.

Photo by Dominic Lipinski / Getty Images

Meghan Boosts Demand For Colours, While Kate Boosts Demand For Specific Designer Brands

Both the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex have an undeniable impact on online fashion searches. However, their influence is noticeable in two different ways: Meghan primarily triggers searches for colours, while Kate predominantly boosts demand for specific designers.

Among Kate’s ten most talked-about fashion moments, seven boosted online demand for the brands she was wearing, with Jenny Packham benefiting the most from the duchess’ influence.

As for Meghan, her royal wardrobe led to an increase in demand for specific colours in seven out of ten cases, with white, beige, and navy being the most searched for hues.

Photo by Chris Jackson / Getty Images

Is the “Meghan Effect” Slowing Down?

When Meghan made her first public appearance alongside her sister-in-law back in December 2017, her outfit made waves. Her beige Sentaler coat sparked a 164% increase in online searches for outerwear of the same colour in just 24 hours. Her brown Stuart Weitzman boots also left an impression: the brand recorded a 52% increase in demand, while searches for the colour brown increased by 103% on Lyst.

If Meghan is still driving sales, her latest appearances haven’t had such a strong impact, perhaps signifying that the “Meghan Effect” might finally be slowing down.

When she and Prince Harry presented their son Archie on May 9, 2019, Meghan wore a white trench dress with a waist belt from Wales Bonner, paired with neutral pumps from Manolo Blahnik. Following her appearance, searches for white trench dresses jumped 46% in 12 hours, while demand for Wales Bonner rose by 28% compared to the previous week. Meanwhile, demand for Manolo Blahnik shoes actually dropped by 5%.

A few weeks later, Meghan made a surprise appearance at Trooping the Colour, wearing a blue Givenchy ensemble that boosted search queries for the brand by 8%. Demand for navy-coloured pieces increased by 29% over the following 24 hours.

Over the past few years, Meghan’s fashion influence has been undeniable, with a majority of her outfits immediately triggering online demand. It is, of course, reminiscent of the effect that some of Kate’s outfits have, and while both duchesses have a different sort of impact on online shopping behaviour, they both offer powerful brand moments to the labels that they choose to wear.