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Will the 'Kate effect' extend to ancient Scottish tartan?

July 5, 2012
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The 'Kate Effect' has seen a huge soar in sales whenever the Duchess of Cambridge wears a label or particular style. But fashion watchers are wondering whether this phenomenon will extend to the Strathearn tartan, which Kate has sported in twice as many months.

Kate Middleton

Paying tribute to her Scottish title, the Countess of Strathearn, the striking brunette wore a scarf in the distinctive red and yellow tartan for the Diamond Jubilee river pageant, in case cold set in.And on Thursday, it made an appearance again as she watched Prince William being installed as a Knight of the Order of the Thistle. The striking brunette was impeccably turned out in an Emilia Wickstead coat dress created especially for the occasion. She paired the lovely, pleated number with a Whiteley hat that she wore to Derby last year and repeated at the wedding of Emily McCorquodale to James Hutt in June. But the tartan was a nice finishing touch given that she was in Scotland. Unlike the Balmoral tartan, which is exclusive to the royal family, the Strathearn version can be worn by anyone.

Duchess of Cambridge

However, it is not widely available, so Kate most likely had hers made especially for her.

The tartan is said to have been worn by the father of Queen Victoria, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn. As Colonel of the Royal Scots Regiment from 1801 to 1821, he apparently sent a sample to Wilson's of Bannockburn for the purpose of "dressing the gallant corps".

’The Kate Effect’ 

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  • Le Chameau — sales of the £300 wellington boots that she wore to the Expanding Horizons event in Kent have increased by 56 per cent
  • LK Bennett — relatively unknown in the US before last year, the retailer — whose nude court shoes Kate adores — recently opened a New York outpost at the Time Warner Center
  • Reiss — sales are up from £77.7million to £87.6million from the previous year and traffic to has increased 200 per cent since Kate donned their white dress for her engagement announcement
  • Coral jeans — she wore them on a trip to the Olympic Park and within hours, sales of the bright-hued denim went up 88 per cent. Retailer George has also seen a massive uplift of 471 per cent in sales of their coloured denim range.

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