Ever since she was officially made The Duchess of Cambridge upon marrying Prince William in 2011, Kate Middleton has been admired internationally. She was named the UK’s Top Beauty Icon for three years straight, was featured on Vanity Fair’s International Best Dressed List of 2013, and appeared on the list of People magazine’s Most Beautiful in 2013. With a global celebrity presence, it’s no wonder that whatever the royal touches turns to gold – retail gold for the designers she chooses to wear, that is.
It seems that everything The Duchess wears sells out. Recently, after wearing a blue and white Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress on an 11-day Oceana tour in Australia, it was reported to have completely sold out within eight minutes.
This is nothing new for the stylish and accessible Duchess Kate. Back in 2010, she wore a blue dress by the brand Issa, nearly collapsing the business which was not prepared for the influx of orders they received. When Kate introduced her son Prince George to the world in a simple polka dotted dress, the world scrambled to find where to buy it. Even though the Jenny Packham dress was custom-made, the online retail store still crashed due to the frenzy.
Michelle Obama, another extremely influential fashionista, is known for her everyday wear as well as her fancy Met Ball designer ensembles. Her low maintenance, clean style strongly appeals to moms across the country who mimic her style. After she was spotted in a very reasonably priced, checkered ASOS dress last year, it immediately sold out on the retailer’s online store.
The First Lady’s daughters seem to be just as capable of creating fashion hysteria as their mother. When the youngest of the sisters, Sasha, wore a unicorn sweater from ASOS to a college basketball game, chaos ensued on the company’s online store.
But a celebrity doesn’t have to be the spouse of a powerful world leader to have that sort of impact on apparel sales.
When Lindsay Lohan went to a court hearing in 2012 in a white, tight mini dress by Kimberly Ovitz, it too sold out. Lupita Nyong’o famously caused Clarins lip balm to sell out after taking it out of her purse on Oscar’s night during Ellen DeGeneres’ stunt. Emma Watson, Alexa Chung, and Rihanna have all been responsible for making cash register sales go into maximum overdrive for items they’ve worn. From the First Lady of the United States to Beyoncé, who has just made the cover of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, the power of celebrity is undeniable. For apparel brands – or any brands – hoping to gain exposure, popularity, and to increase sales, nothing is more aspirational to the purchasing market than an alignment as a celebrity fashion choice.