Revealed in her guest-edited September issue of British Vogue, Meghan Markle is teaming with fashion designer Misha Nonoo to create a capsule collection of workwear clothes meant to benefit the U.K. women’s charity Smart Works, which provides clothing and tools to unemployed women.
From the duchess’ history with Nonoo to the details of the charitable initiative, here is everything you need to know about Markle and Nonoo’s fashion collaboration.
In an article written by the Duchess of Sussex for her guest-edited September issue of British Vogue, Meghan Markle revealed that she reached out to New York-based designer and close friend Misha Nonoo to collaborate on a fashion capsule collection that offered classic workwear options for women, including blouses, trousers, blazers, dresses and bags.
The idea for the collaboration came from the Duchess’ work with Smart Works, a U.K.-based women’s charity that provides clothing, tools and coaching to unemployed women, and her desire to give back to the organization. The duchess is also teaming up with U.K. retailer Marks & Spencer, U.K. department store chain John Lewis & Partners and U.K. fashion brand Jigsaw to help with the collection. For every piece purchased by a customer, one will be donated back to Smart Works.
Markle revealed the full capsule collection on her Instagram on Sept. 12 — called The Smart Set — posting images from the collection’s photoshoot. In the caption, she reveals the collection includes five workwear pieces, including a shirt, pants, blazer, dress and tote bag.
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Last month, The Duchess of Sussex surprised Smart Works clients during the capsule collection shoot in west London…Today, The Duchess, alongside @SmartWorksCharity – in partnership with @InsideJigsaw, @JohnLewisandPartners, @MarksandSpencer and @MishaNonoo – are incredibly proud to reveal to everyone, #TheSmartSet – a five piece capsule collection that will equip the Smart Works clients with the classic wardrobe pieces to help them feel confident as they mobilise back into the work space. • “Since moving to the UK, it has been deeply important to me to meet with communities and organisations on the ground doing meaningful work and to try to do whatever I can to help them amplify their impact. It was just last September that we launched the ‘Together’ cookbook with the women of the Hubb Kitchen in Grenfell. Today, a year later, I am excited to celebrate the launch of another initiative of women supporting women, and communities working together for the greater good. Thank you to the four brands who came together in supporting Smart Works on this special project – placing purpose over profit and community over competition. In convening several companies rather than one, we’ve demonstrated how we can work collectively to empower each other – another layer to this communal success story, that I am so proud to be a part of” – The Duchess of Sussex The collection – which features a shirt, trousers, blazer, dress and tote bag – will be on sale for two weeks starting today, with the objective of selling enough units to give Smart Works the essentials they need to help dress clients for the coming year! For every item bought during the sale of the collection, one will be donated to Smart Works, this 1:1 model allows customers to directly support the Smart Works women by playing a part in their success story – how they look and more importantly, how they feel. Photo © @JennyZarins
“Since moving to the U.K., it has been deeply important to me to meet with communities and organizations on the ground doing meaningful work and to try to do whatever I can to help them amplify their impact,” the caption reads. “It was just last September that we launched the ‘Together’ cookbook with the women of the Hubb Kitchen in Grenfell. Today, a year later, I am excited to celebrate the launch of another initiative of women supporting women, and communities working together for the greater good.”
Last month, Markle teased the collection in a behind the scenes video posted to her Instagram Stories. Markle is seen in the videos working with the photographer and assisting the styling for the photo shoot.
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@sussexroyal just shared a sneak peek at @smartworkscharity capsule collection shoot , before autumn launch!❤️ . Meghan looks so happy 😊✨ . Soo excited for autumn to see all the news !!✨ . . . #babysussex #duchessmeghan #dukeandduchessofsussex #duchessofsussex #dukeandduchessofsussex #dukeofsussex #britishroyalfamily#meghanandharry#Meghanmarkle #meghanmarklefans #royalcouple #rachelzane #suits #a #harry #hapiness #babyarchie
When will the collection be available for purchase?
Markle’s Smart Works capsule collection will launch on Sept. 12 — before the start of London Fashion Week — and will be available for two weeks, according to royal family correspondent, Omid Scobie.
Markle will be present for the capsule’s launch event — marking her first official engagement after ending maternity leave — which will include a Smart Works panel discussion with the organization’s clients.
What is Meghan Markle’s link to Smart Works?
In January, the Duchess of Sussex was appointed the royal patron of Smart Works. During the same month, she visited the charity and met Patsy Wardally, an unemployed woman seeking assistance from Smart Works. Together, Markle helped Wardally look through the charity’s assortment of clothing and accessories.
“It’s the enthusiasm of the volunteers, the earnestness of the staff and, most of all, the blushing, bashful and beautiful smile that crosses a client’s face when she sees herself in the mirror, that I have found so profoundly compelling,” Markle writes in British Vogue on her reasoning for the charitable collection.
How are Meghan Markle and Misha Nonoo connected?
The Duchess of Sussex and Nonoo are long-time friends, with the designer attending Markle’s royal wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018 and her private baby shower in New York City back in February.
It’s been reported that Nonoo is one of the close friends that first introduced Markle to Prince Harry. While it’s unclear how the connection was made, Nonoo’s ex-husband, Paddle8 auction house founder Alexander Gilkes, is one of Prince Harry’s close friends from Eton College. Nonoo is also friends with other members of the royal family, including Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice, and has posted pictures with the royals on her Instagram account.
Is this Meghan Markle’s first fashion collaboration?
The collaboration with Misha Nonoo marks the duchess’ second fashion collaboration. Previously, Markle had teamed up with Canadian retailer Reitmans to create a collection of “work-to-weekend wear.” The collection included Markle’s signature faux leather pencil skirt worn by her character Rachel Zane on the USA Network show “Suits” and other pieces like a cashmere-blend poncho and faux leather leggings.
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