The Kate Effect



What the Duchess of Cambridge wears, everyone wants

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, aka Kate Middleton, wore a $168 pair of Soru Jewellery earrings two days in a row earlier this month: first at London’s Natural History Museum for a gala and then at Wimbledon for the women’s final. 

Within 24 hours, the baroque pearl earrings set with Swarovski crystals had sold out online, and the brand’s website reports that there is still a weeks-long waiting list for new pieces. 

This designer’s dream has a name, and it’s called the Kate effect. Sisters Francesca Kelly and Marianna Doyle, founders of Soru Jewellery, are simply the latest happy victims of the phenomenon. Fashion blogs, gossip blogs, and fans alike methodically track Middleton’s clothes and accessories. When an item hits the sweet spot of affordable and available, it isn’t the latter for long.

(When pieces aren’t affordable or available, those same bloggers are quick to find near matches. In 2011, JCK‘s Jennifer Heebner highlighted several pairs similar to Middleton’s beloved wedding earrings.)

Soru is savvily capitalizing on the Kate effect: Photos of Middleton wearing the earrings are on its website landing page and have appeared on its Instagram feed several times.

But beyond free PR, for many designers, it’s an honor to have Middleton wear their designs.

“She is not only a style icon, but a fantastic role model and true beauty,” Kelly told People. “It was such a proud moment for us.”

(Photo courtesy of Soru Jewellery)