How Meghan Markle’s ‘power coats’ mean she ALREADY ranks among royalty’s most powerful style influencers (but Princess Diana still impacts more shoppers)

  • Meghan Markle, 36, is already one of the most influential royals, research shows
  • The bride-to-be can significantly boost a brand’s sales with a single outing
  • But Princess Diana remains the most powerful royal style icon, experts explain
  • Also analysed the impact of the Queen Mother, Kate Middleton and Charlotte 

She is still weeks away from marrying Prince Harry but Meghan Markle already ranks among the most powerful royal style influencers, new research reveals. 

The bride-to-be triggers a spike in sales every time she steps out, with her ‘power coats’, tailored trousers and simple white blouses proving a particular hit with shoppers. 

But while there is no denying the impact of the ‘Meghan effect’ – it is Princess Diana who remains the most powerful royal style icon, according to the new report.

Trend-setter: Meghan Markle has been credited with boosting the number of searches for ‘power coats’ like this double-breasted tartan number that she wore for an Edinburgh outing

Researchers at global fashion search platform Lyst combined analysis of current data with historical insights and anecdotes to determine which royal woman has had the greatest impact on style trends, dating back to Queen Alexandra of Denmark, wife of King Edward VII, who lived between 1844 and 1925.  

Their work produced fascinating revelations on the significant influence the royal family has on consumer habits. The Queen Mother, for example, is credited with reviving dwindling sales in parasols, while Queen Alexandra set the trend for ‘Swan Bill’ corsets.  

Charlotte Austin, Lyst Editor, said: ‘Forget the Kardashians or the Hadids; the Windsors are the ultimate fashion influencer family. At Lyst we’re used to looking into real time, reactive spikes in search and sales when a celebrity influencer wears a fashion brand. 

Lasting legacy: From big shoulders to the Little Black Dress, Diana set the style agenda

‘For this project we wanted to investigate the longer term ‘ripple effect’ of fashion trends endorsed by the royals over the years.

Based on our research, we believe Princess Diana is the most powerful royal fashion influencer of all time. 

‘While we’re seeing phenomenal spikes in demand for all things Meghan-endorsed right now, Diana’s lasting legacy as a trend setter and continual source of inspiration for generations of designers and fashion lovers makes The Diana Effect an incredibly powerful fashion force.’ Here, FEMAIL shares some of Lyst’s key findings… 

Meghan Markle

Power coats 

The Meghan Markle ‘power coat’ has become a sartorial subgenre. For her official engagement photos she chose a white coat from Line The Label, which sold out within 12 hours.

And when she donned a long double-breasted tartan Burberry coat for an appearance in Edinburgh, searches for Burberry coats soared by 120 per cent in the following 48 hours.

Making a statement: This white coat from Line The Label sold out within 12 hours

Simple white shirt 

For her first official outing with Prince Harry at the Invictus Games in Toronto, Meghan kept it casual in a classic white shirt and jeans.

Searches for the Misha Nonoo’s ‘Husband Shirt’ increased by 62 per cent in the week following the Invictus Games. The Canadian designer – a close friend of the royal bride-to-be – has seen traffic to her page grow by 130 per cent since the appearance.

Friends first: Searches for Meghan’s ‘Husband Shirt’ by Misha Nonoo – a close friend – increased by 62 per cent in the week after she wore it to the Invictus Games, pictured

Royal wedding fever

The royal wedding is still weeks away but designers who are hotly-tipped to be behind Meghan’s gown are already seeing the benefits.

British label Ralph & Russo – chosen by Meghan for her official engagement portraits – have seen the biggest boost with an 82 per cent increase in wedding dress portraits. 

Erdem and Roland Mouret, believed to also be in the running, have received a 43 per cent and 38 per cent increase, respectively.

Princess Diana 

Stylish revenge

Princess Diana wore a black silk bodycon Christina Stambolian LBD shortly after her split with Charles, labelled the ‘revenge dress’ by the British press.  ‘Little black dress’ remains one of the most consistently searched terms for dresses online today. 

Lyst sees half a million searches a month for LBDs. Tight bodycon styles remain a popular choice, with demand for off the shoulder 80s styles peaking last November.

Classic: Princess Diana in the ultimate ‘little black dress’ in 1994 – a style still popular today

‘Dynasty Di’ 

Princess Diana loved a power shoulder. She wore many a strong shoulder shirt, dress and blazer and the media soon crowned her ‘Dynasty Di’ thanks to her penchant for statement shoulder pads. Shoulders are always in fashion; in the last two years they’ve been the most searched for fashion body part worldwide.  

Back in fashion: Diana’s beloved shoulder pads, as seen in 1994, are a key contemporary trend

The Duchess of Cambridge 

Lady in red

‘The Kate Effect’ is estimated to generate more than £1billion for the UK fashion industry every year. 

In 2016 the Duchess of Cambridge demonstrated her trend-setter status when she wore a red Preen dress at a reception in Canada, prompting a 240 per cent increase in searches for the brand over the following 24 hours. 

The £999 dress sold out in all sizes within 10 hours of her appearance. 

Sales frenzy: This £999 dress sold out in all sizes within 10 hours of her appearance in 2016

Keeping it casual 

While she looks elegant in formal wear, Kate, 36, is not above donning a hoodie and tracksuit bottom when the occasion demands.  

From her rowing kit to yoga pants, she’s worn specialist sports labels for tennis, hockey, running, sailing and skiing. 

In the two days after Kate wore a Perfect Moment ski jacket in 2017, the designer saw a 390 per cent spike in searches on Lyst, with traffic coming from all over the world (even Australia- where it was height of Summer). 

Meanwhile Kate’s favoured Nike Air Vapormax Flyknit sneakers are among the brand’s most in-demand styles. 

Laid-back look: The Duchess of Cambridge puts on her trainers for a 2017 race against William

Princess Charlotte

Making traditional trendy

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge four traditional, vintage-inspired childrenswear for their three-year-old daughter.

According to Google Trends data, searches for British childrenswear designer Rachel Riley spiked 149 per cent after Charlotte wore her blue party dress for the Royal Family’s tour of Berlin in July 2017.  

Tiny trend-setter: Searches for British childrenswear designer Rachel Riley spiked 149 per cent after Charlotte wore her blue party dress for the Royal Family’s tour of Berlin in July 2017

The Queen

Country chic

With a lifelong passion for horses, it is unsurprising riding gear plays an important part in the Queen’s wardrobe. 

Now widely regarded as a perennially stylish look, knee high boots, jodhpurs and tweed blazers all made an appearance in the Spring/Summer 2018 collections, including at Chloé and Burberry. 

Lyst saw a 55 per cent spike in searches for jodhpurs in March 2018, and searches for tweed blazers and quilted jackets are up 10 per cent year on year.

Spring staples: With a lifelong passion for horses, it is unsurprising riding gear plays an important part in the Queen’s wardrobe. Equestrian-inspired looks appeared on the catwalks

Must-have handbag

Her Majesty is rarely sighted without a small handbag, usually by British brand Launer London, a brand she’s carried loyally since the 1950s. 

Searches for ‘top handle bags’ increased 27 per cent during Fashion Month in February. The most popular top handle bag right now is the Shrimps Antonia Yellow Antonia Faux-pearl-embellished Bag, but Her Majesty’s Launer bags are searched for once every 6 minutes.

Longtime favourite: Her Majesty’s Launer bags are searched for once every 6 minutes

The Queen Mother 

Parasol production

Elizabeth’s mother died a few days before an important state visit to Paris in 1938, sending the royal household into mourning. 

Somber black wasn’t appropriate for the hot July trip, so designer Norman Hartwell designed her an iconic 30 piece ‘white wardrobe’.

Parasol production was temporarily boosted in both Paris and London after the Queen Mother was photographed with a white lace parasol as part of the collection.

Sales boost: Parasol production was boosted after the Queen Mother carried one in Paris in 1938. Pictured, the then Queen Elizabeth with a parasol at an event in London in 1946

Queen Alexandra 

Cinched waist 

Queen Alix set a trend for ‘Swan Bill’ corsets, an excruciating steel boned S-shape that often left wearers with spinal injuries. She was the poster girl for tight-laced corsets and bustled trains in the 1870s and 1880s, inspiring ladies of the time to try and replicate her tiny waist. 

More than 100 years later, searches for corsets have risen 38% in the last 3 years, thanks to Kim Kardashian bringing back ‘waist training’ and the trend for lingerie as outerwear. 

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