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'Kate effect' still making a royal mint

Monday, August 04, 2014 - 02:37

Everyone loves a fairytale princess - especially dressmaker Seraphine whose profits have quadrupled since Kate Middleton wore one of her designs for her first official family photograph with baby Prince George. Hayley Platt reports.

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It must be every fashion designer's dream. Seeing the Duchess of Cambridge wearing one of their creations. That's what happened to Cecile Reinaud of dressmaker Seraphine last year when Kate chose to wear this dress for the family's official photograph. One year on and both the Prince and Cecile have reason to celebrate. Baby George, his first birthday. Cecile, the quadrupling of her company's profits as consumers become followers of Kate's fashion. SOUNDBITE: Cecile Reinaud, Seraphine, saying (English): "A year on we've experienced over 60 percent growth which is pretty fantastic in the current economy. We have experienced a very international growth. It really opens up for us the American market which is notoriously difficult to get into. We have also opened up distribution in Japan, in China areas where it's quite hard to penetrate and export." Not bad for a dress costing less than £50. It's Kate's passion for high-street fashion that has helped endear her to the British public. Fashionistas have been able to copy her style and keep within their budget. This dress by high street chain Reiss, worn by Kate to meet the Obamas, reportedly sold out within hours. Something fashion chains battling against sluggish consumer sentiment, aren't complaining about. Eric Musgrove is from fashion publication, Drapers. SOUNDBITE: Eric Musgrove, Editorial Director, Drapers "Before Prince George came along, LK Bennett was identified as one of her favourite shoe stores. Reiss did exceptionally well when it was identified as being one of hers and I don't think Alexander McQueen has had any harm done by designing the wedding dress and her regularly wearing her clothes for special occasions. I think the Kate effect is going to endure, endure, endure." The so-called 'Kate Effect' has inspired no end of copycat creations. And thanks to social media, details of designs can make their way around the world in a flash. This budget version of her wedding dress was featured at a bridal show in China a month after the royal wedding. SOUNDBITE: Cecile Reinaud, Seraphine, saying (English): "Overall, I think customers have been looking at the brand being more desirable and really wanting to get a little piece of Kate's wardrobe." It's certainly paid dividends for Seraphine and many other fashion brands. With press rumours rife over Kate possibly expecting her second child... ... Cecile and her team no doubt on the lookout for a second bite of a lucrative 'Kate Effect' cherry.

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'Kate effect' still making a royal mint

Monday, August 04, 2014 - 02:37