Meghan Markle sure knows how to make a post-maternity-leave entrance. On Thursday, the Duchess of Sussex made her first official work appearance since baby Archie was born, in celebration of the launch of her new capsule collection — adding yet another impressive title to her resume.
Markle first teased the collection in the recent issue of British Vogue, which she guest edited. The Smart Set capsule collection is designed to include the essentials women need for a professional wardrobe. But best of all, and unsurprisingly given all we know about the Duchess, it has a philanthropic mission. Markle has partnered with Smart Works, a London-based organization dedicated to helping underprivileged women seeking work by providing clothes, coaching, and more.
“When you walk into a Smart Works space, you’re met with racks of clothing and an array of bags and shoes,” Markle explained in British Vogue. “Sometimes, however, it can be a potpourri of mismatched sizes and colors, not always the right stylistic choices or range of sizes. To help with this, I asked Marks & Spencer, John Lewis & Partners, Jigsaw [Editor’s Note: all staples of British fashion] and my friend, the designer Misha Nonoo, if they were willing to design a capsule collection of more classic options for a workwear wardrobe.”
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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
As was further explained on the official Instagram account of Sussex Royal: “Following numerous visits to the charity, The Duchess, who is a patron of Smart Works, noticed an underlying issue… while the donations were plentiful, the right sizes and classic wardrobe staples were not always available.” Markle’s hope is that it will help prepare underprivileged women for the job market. For every piece sold, another will be donated to Smart Works so that every woman feels amazing when she heads into a job interview.
The capsule is available now, and it will be on sale for at least the next two weeks. While attending the launch in London, where she gave a beautiful, heartfelt speech, Her Royal Highness wore two core pieces from the line: a button-down shirt and tailored trousers, which she paired with her signature pumps.
What else does the capsule include? It’s a super tightly edited collection of just five items — aka just the essentials every working woman should have. That includes the The Smart Set Shirt ($125) designed by Misha Nonoo, which Markle wore today paired with Jigsaw’s Paris Slim Fit Tapered Trouser ($148). Jigsaw’s contribution to the capsule also includes a versatile black blazer, The Smart Set Paris Jacket ($220). Then there’s a John Lewis & Partners leather tote, The Leather Smart Set Tote ($120), in both a black and tan colorway.
Finally, and by far the biggest steal of the bunch, is an ultra-wearable Marks & Spencer shift dress, The Crepe Shift Dress (just $32.50), which is available in classic black, cobalt blue, and hot pink options. Plus, it’s machine washable! We stan a practical Duchess!
Check out the Smart Works Smart Set collection below.