Meghan Markle has made improving the lives of girls and women her biggest mission in her personal and professional life and her latest cause has been to help the underprivileged women of the U.K. find outfits they can feel strong and confident in while on job interviews. After much anticipation, Meghan has now launched her new capsule collection in partnership with a U.K. charity.
Partnering with British department stores Marks and Spencer and John Lewis, as well as the brand Jigsaw and fashion designer Misha Nonoo, Markle’s new capsule collection is a collaboration with Smart Works, a charity that helps women in vulnerable situations access the clothing necessary to reenter the workforce and find suitable employment. Markle has been heavily involved with both the designing of the collection and Smart Works, making a surprise appearance at the charity earlier this summer when the promotional images for the capsule collection were being shot using Smart Works clients. On Thursday, Markle chose the Smart Works HQ as the spot to launch the new line, already releasing two items in the U.K. and making the entire line available for sale on Thursday afternoon.
“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 Duchess of Sussex said in a statement released by Buckingham Palace on Meghan and Prince Harry’s Instagram page. “It was just last September that we launched the Together cookbook with the women of the Hubb Kitchen in Grenfell. Now, one year later, I am excited to celebrate the launch of another initiative of women supporting women, and communities working together for the greater good.”
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Introducing the new Smart Works collection, #TheSmartSet Over the last year, The Duchess of Sussex and @SmartWorksCharity have come together to launch a very special initiative. Following numerous visits to the charity, The Duchess, who is patron of Smart Works, noticed an underlying issue… while the donations were plentiful, the right sizes and classic wardrobe staples were not always available. Since then – having partnered with leading British fashion designers @InsideJigsaw, @JohnLewisandPartners, @MarksandSpencer and @MishaNonoo – The Duchess has championed the launch of a new Smart Works capsule collection that will help properly equip these women for their next chapter. • “When you buy any item in the Smart Set Capsule Collection for Smart Works, the same item will be given to a Smart Works client, and with it, the confidence and support she needs to enter the workforce and take an important step in building a career.” – The Duchess of Sussex Created in September 2013 with the goal to help unemployed women regain the confidence that may have been blurred during more difficult times, Smart Works provides invaluable support in these women’s return to employment and towards transforming their lives. Not only do they supply complete outfits for job interviews, Smart Works provides access to one-to-one interview training and the opportunity to join Smart Works Network, meeting every month to further their professional and personal development. #TheSmartSet collection – that features a shirt, trousers, blazer, dress and bag – will be on sale for two weeks starting today. Please support the women of Smart Works by purchasing one of the pieces and being part of another woman’s success story. Video ©️ SussexRoyal / Photo ©️ @JennyZarins
Markle reiterated this message on Thursday morning when she addressed a group at the Smart Works HQ. Royal reporter Omid Scobie shared videos of Meghan’s speech, which included the Duchess thanking all the retailers and designers involved in the new collection. Meghan, who appeared at the event wearing earrings that belonged to her late mother-in-law and famous philanthropist Princess Diana, also spoke about the different between charity and community, explaining that charity is looking in your closet and donating clothes you no longer wear, while community is taking your favourite blazer that helped you rock a job interview and giving that to someone who is looking for work.
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) September 12, 2019
The capsule collection includes a shirt, trousers, a blazer, a dress and tote bag, all designed by Markle and Nonoo with the aim of being able to build more outfits around these classic and timeless pieces. The collection will be on sale in the U.K. for the next two weeks and is using a 1:1 model, meaning for every item bought during the sale, the same item will be donated to Smart Works to help women in need.
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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
No surprise, some of the items have already sold out, including the Smart Set Tote Bag in black and brown, which retails for $178 CAD.
The Smart Set White Shirt, which Meghan wore during Thursday’s press conference, comes in at $203 CAD.
Other items in Markle’s new line are much more affordable, including the Crepe Shift Dress, which is available in black, red and navy and retails for only $45 CAD. Lucky for us Canadians, this one’s available to buy right from the Canadian M&S website, with no duties.