Meghan Markle has officially ended her maternity leave after giving birth to Archie Harrison, and she made her first public outing this week to launch her new Smart Works capsule collection. The new clothing line will benefit her patronage Smart Works – which is a charity that helps women find employment – and during the next two weeks, Markle’s design partners will donate one item to Smart Works for every item that customers purchase.
The Duchess of Sussex held a press conference in London to launch the new line while wearing two pieces from the collection, a white button-down shirt from Misha Nonoo and some slim-fit black pants from Jigsaw.
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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
There are five key pieces in the collection that women need to enter the workplace. In addition to the white shirt and black pants, there is a crepe shift dress from Marks & Spencer that is available in three different colors, a one-button black blazer from Jigsaw, and a leather smart set tote bag from John Lewis & Partners that comes in black or tan.
Markle has purchased all of the items herself, and she plans to wear them during her royal tour in Africa with Prince Harry and Archie.
“When I first moved to the U.K. it was incredibly important to me personally to be able to connect with people on the ground who were doing really important work. One of the places that I went to really early on was Smart Works,” said Markle.
The Duchess explained that she is really connected to the idea of having one small project make a huge impact, and this is the kind of work she has been doing for a long time. Markle says it means a lot to her that she can do this in her new home, the UK.
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We’re thrilled to be officially launching our partnership with Smart Works and The Duchess of Sussex, as we work together to support women as they re-enter the workforce. Here at Misha Nonoo, our mission has always been to provide women everywhere with a stylish work-ready wardrobe. With our release of the Smart Set Shirt, we can spread this mission further— with every purchase of our shirt, one will be donated to Smart Works, equipping their clients with the key essentials they need to attend interviews and return to employment. Link in bio.
The 38-year-old says that the project is in the same vein of the work that she and Prince Harry will continue to do – strong community-based projects – and they will share more about that next year when they launch their foundation, Sussex Royal.
The shift dresses in the collection cost $32 and they are available on the Marks & Spencer website, and the white shirt costs $125 and is available on Misha Nonoo’s website. The blazer and pants can be found on the Jigsaw UK website, but their US site is currently down. And, the totes from John Lewis & Partners are already sold out online. However, you can request a notification for when they are back in stock.
Meghan Markle also wrote about her Smart Works campaign in the latest issue of British Vogue, which she guest-edited. The special issue is on newsstands now.