Meghan Markle’s charity clothes collection is already available to buy

The first pieces from the Duchess of Sussex‘s charity clothing range have been unveiled online – hours before the official launch later today. 

Meghan, 38, will formally present the five-piece capsule collection, which benefits the Smart Works charity, at an event this afternoon, marking her return to official engagements following the birth of son Archie in May.

However designs are already available to buy through Marks & Spencer and John Lewis – two of the four retail partners chosen by the royal for the high-profile project. 

The M&S website has a £19.50 ‘Smart Set’ crepe shift dress available in two colours – blue and black . Meanwhile on John Lewis’ online store, shoppers can pick up the £109 tan tote bag from the ‘Smart Set Capsule Collection’.  

Both items, thought to have been released on the retailers’ websites this morning, reference the Duchess of Sussex and the Smart Works charity in the product description, alongside a quote from the royal: ‘Not a handout, a hand, held.’ 

The first pieces from the Duchess of Sussex's charity clothing range are available to buy online - hours before the official launch

The first pieces from the Duchess of Sussex's charity clothing range are available to buy online - hours before the official launch

The first pieces from the Duchess of Sussex’s charity clothing range are available to buy online – hours before the official launch. Among them is this £19.50 shift dress from M&S (pictured)

The M&S Smart Set dress

The M&S Smart Set dress

The M&S Smart Set dress

The M&S Smart Set dress

 The M&S Smart Set dress comes in three different colours: blue, black (pictured) and red

The range has been created in collaboration with M&S, John Lewis, Jigsaw, and Meghan’s designer friend Misha Nonoo. 

For every item bought during the sale of the collection, expected to last at least two weeks, one will be donated to Smart Works, which offers clothing and interview coaching to unemployed women. 

It was already known the collection would include professional pieces like a shirt, trousers, blazer, dress and bag, but the exact designs had been kept a closely guarded secret. Today it was also announced that there are just five pieces in total. 

The dress and tote bag seen online today are the first look and suggest the collection will aim to deliver a ‘classic’ aesthetic that caters to a range of body types, according to celebrity stylist Lucas Armitage.  

The Duchess will make her first public engagement since the birth of son Archie today to launch the limited edition clothing lin

The Duchess will make her first public engagement since the birth of son Archie today to launch the limited edition clothing lin

The Duchess will make her first public engagement since the birth of son Archie today to launch the limited edition clothing lin

Both items, thought to have been released on the retailers' websites this morning, reference the Duchess of Sussex by name in the product description. John Lewis (top) and M&S

Both items, thought to have been released on the retailers' websites this morning, reference the Duchess of Sussex by name in the product description. John Lewis (top) and M&S

Both items, thought to have been released on the retailers’ websites this morning, reference the Duchess of Sussex by name in the product description. John Lewis (top) and M&S

Made from ‘subtly grained and soft-to-touch leather’, the bag is described as ‘a lightweight, versatile and practical weekday accessory for the modern woman’.

The ‘generously-sized bag’ has an open-top design with ‘plenty of room to fit whatever you need to get you through the working day’.

Revealed: Stylist’s take on the first designs

Celebrity stylist Lucas Armitage said: ‘Meghan Markle is known for her love of the form fitting and attention grabbing dresses so to see such a departure from her all eyes on me philosophy is a welcome step for me

The shift dress is maybe underwhelming from a fashion point of view but it’s a dress that will look great on most body shapes.

‘The gathers round the neckline add some welcome detail and the loose fitting sleeve is a firm favourite for M&S shoppers.’

He added: ‘A classic leather tote is a bag every woman needs and this one doesn’t disappoint. It’s classic styling makes it the perfect all round bag.’ 

It has a large exterior slip pocket and two phone-sized slip pockets, one card slot and a zipped pocket inside, and two shoulder straps and a detachable and adjustable crossbody strap.

Described as ‘a staple in your autumn wardrobe’ and ‘a perfect choice all year round too’, the dress is ‘cut from crepe that handily doesn’t require ironing, the shift shape flatters your figure with its clean and simple lines’. 

Speaking to Femail, celebrity stylist Lucas Armitage said: ‘Meghan Markle is known for her love of the form fitting and attention grabbing dresses so to see such a departure from her all eyes on me philosophy is a welcome step for me. 

‘The shift dress is maybe underwhelming from a fashion point of view but it’s a dress that will look great on most body shapes. 

‘The gathers round the neckline add some welcome detail and the loose fitting sleeve is a firm favourite for M&S shoppers.’

He added: ‘A classic leather tote is a bag every woman needs and this one doesn’t disappoint. It’s classic styling makes it the perfect all round bag.’

It was previously noted that the bag was designed so that it could fit a laptop – a must for many busy professional women on-the-go.  

The full collection will be launched by the Duchess of Sussex in person this afternoon.

Meghan privately visited Smart Works several times before being named as its royal patron in January and has a long-standing commitment to supporting women’s empowerment.

She announced the project benefiting the charity in her September issue of British Vogue, which was given the tagline ‘Forces For Change’.   

Writing in the fashion bible she said: ‘The reason I was drawn to Smart Works is that it re-frames the idea of charity as community, which, for me, is incredibly important: it’s a network of women supporting and empowering other women in their professional pursuits.’ 

Smart Works has helped more than 11,000 women and aims to dress 3,500 this year across their two London offices, and additional bases in Edinburgh, Manchester, Reading, Birmingham and Newcastle.

It has a team of 300 trained volunteers and helps long-term unemployed and vulnerable women regain the skills, confidence and tools to succeed at job interviews, return to employment and transform their lives.

Link hienalouca.com

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