Drapers enjoyed the fact that we managed to time our royal baby-themed cover story to hit subscribers’ doormats the same day Princess Charlotte was welcomed into the world.
As the one who wrote the interview with kidswear designer Rachel Riley, who shot to prominence after Prince George was dressed in her sailing boat dungarees, I would like to personally thank the Duchess of Cambridge for crossing her legs until the publication date. During the interview, Riley spoke of the 10% rise in sales she enjoyed as a result of being worn by a mini-monarch. This time round there has been no shortage of brands and retailers hoping to capitalise on the birth.
Source: Photo: Jennypackham.com
THE ROYAL COUPLE
Within minutes of Kate leaving the Lido Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in London on Saturday May 2, the inboxes of Drapers editorial staff were filled with the news that she wore a bespoke silk shift buttercup print dress by designer Jenny Packham. Sadly we’re still in dark about who designed Will’s blue jumper and white shirt.
THE ROYAL BABY
The one-time Kate effect, which later translated into the Prince George effect, has now morphed into the Princess Charlotte effect. One Nottingham-based manufacturer the first to feel its impact; the princess wore a soft ivory white wool baby shawl by GH Hurt & Son and the business has been forced to create a four-week waiting list as a result of the unusually high demand.
THE ROYAL RETAILERS
At the time of our interview, Rachel Riley kept plans for her royal baby celebrations tightly under wraps, not even hazarding a guess at the sex. A breaking news notification to my phone alerting me to the birth was quickly followed by a text that read: “On my way to the store to do a pink window display!” Riley used a trumpet-playing solider to announce ‘It’s a girl!’ alongside a pink pram and congratulatory window decals.
Other independents also rushed to get in on the action. Kidswear mini-chain The Pud Store, which has stores in Nottingham and Doncaster, marked the occasion by becoming the first UK stockists of royal-inspired brand Newness. The Pud Store’s co-owner Fran Bishop told Drapers there has been a “huge increase” in demand for more traditional baby/kidswear brands.
Royal selling power is nothing new: Kate Middleton has caused websites to crash in the same way brands favoured by the late Princess Diana sold out in moments. However, in this digital world, it will be interesting to watch as Princess Charlotte’s every ensemble is scrutinised and brands scuttle to ascend to the royal wardrobe.