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‘Meghan effect’


When Meghan Markle and Prince Harry made their first public appearance together as a couple at the Invictus Games in Toronto in September, one British company received an unexpected boost. Upstart eyewear brand Finlay & Co sold £20,000 worth of glasses in the 24 hours after the American actress was photographed wearing its tortoise shell frames.

David Lochhead, who co-founded the five-year-old brand with Dane Butler, says that while other US celebrities such as actress Jessica Alba and singer Rihanna have been snapped wearing Finlay’s glasses, “the impact from Meghan wearing them has been significantly greater”.

Analysts say stalwarts of luxury British fashion such as Barbour, Mulberry and Burberry are expected to enjoy similar uplifts especially in the US after Ms Markle had been seen sporting their goods.

US shoppers searching online for Ms Markle’s classic waxed cotton Barbour jacket, a well-known favourite of the Queen’s, rose 72 per cent in the two weeks after she was photographed in one.

Ajete Bruncaj, who has worked in the New York Barbour shop on Madison Avenue for eight years, remembers the impact of the last royal wedding on sales. “When Kate wore a Barbour jacket, everyone was asking for the specific jacket like Kate’s, the whole season,” says Ms Bruncaj. “It’s more significant when it’s a member of the royal family versus just a regular celebrity. Everyone wants that product.”