News & Runway

The Kate Middleton Effect: The Duchess to Judge Shoe Design Contest

Ahead of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Kate Middleton has teamed up with De Montfort University in the English city of Leicester to judge a shoe designing contest. Kate, who is a firm supporter of British fashion, will be visiting Leicester on the March 8 with the Queen and Prince Phillip, whereby she will choose the winner herself. The winning design will be turned into a pair of shoes for Kate to wear on future occasions, and given the ‘Duchess Effect’, she knows exactly what this could do for any emerging designer.

The Kate Middleton Effect

Designers at London Fashion Week AW12 were widely aware of the ‘Kate Middleton Effect’ and know that if she wears just one item from a new collection, it would not only significantly increase sales, but also improve their brand's credibility. This was clearly demonstrated last year when she opted to wear Alice Temperley and Whistles, causing the items to immediately sell out. As a consequence of all the publicity, the fashion retailer Whistles plans for international expansion, with stores set to open in the US and Southeast Asia later this year.

The Kate Middleton Effect: The Duchess to Judge Shoe Design Contest

PETA's Outrage 

Although it does seem like Kate can do no wrong on the fashion front, she is still susceptible to the odd backlash. She was recently criticised by PETA, a bit too hastily, after being photographed wearing a seemingly fur trimmed shearling coat. A press release from the palace later set the record straight stating that it was, in fact, fake fur. This just goes to show how careful the Duchess now needs to be.

Kate's Caused a Denim Boom

The Duchess currently seems to have created a boom in sales of washed denim jeans since she was seen out in a pair whilst walking her puppy through Kensington Gardens last week. Leading British retailer ASDA confirmed this by stating that even they had seen a major increase in their denim sales.

 Images: Dailymail