new-meghan

Meghan Markle's new womenswear collection: The inside story and the behind the scenes details

The Duchess of Sussex has collaborated with Misha Nonoo, Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and Jigsaw to create the clothing line

Danielle Stacey

Today, the Duchess of Sussex has launched her highly-anticipated womenswear line in London, and she dressed to impress at the launch party at John Lewis wearing pieces from her new capsule collection, including the Jigsaw trousers and the Misha Nonoo shirt, which she teamed with a tan belt from Ralph Lauren The 38-year-old Duchess teamed her new pieces (which she purchased) with gold jewellery, one of which included Princess Diana's heirloom bracelet and her butterfly earrings were also once owned by Princess Diana. She accessorised with a pair of tan suede stilettos.

meghan-markle-arriving-at-john-lewis

Meghan has worked with high street brands John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Jigsaw, alongside fashion designer (and friend!) Misha Nonoo to create a capsule collection of work wear essentials – including a shirt, trousers, blazer, dress and a bag. It will benefit Smart Works – one of Meghan’s patronages – which helps unemployed women regain the confidence they need to succeed at job interviews, return to employment and transform their lives.

VIDEO: Meghan's Smart Works speech at the event in John Lewis

For every item bought during the sale of the collection, which will last for at least two weeks, one will be donated to Smart Works – allowing customers to help empower and support other women and play a part in their success story.

capsule-shirt

 SHOP: The Smart Set Shirt, £125, Misha Nonoo

Mischa Nonoo told HELLO! "It’s so great to be involved in this empowering project for women supporting community rather than competitiveness."

The Duchess says: “Since moving to the UK, it has been deeply important to me to meet with communities and organisations on the ground doing meaningful work and to try to do whatever I can to help them amplify their impact. It was just last September that we launched the ‘Together’ cookbook with the women of the Hubb Kitchen in Grenfell.

bag

BUY IT NOW! £109, John Lewis

"Now, one year later, I am excited to celebrate the launch of another initiative of women supporting women, and communities working together for the greater good. 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.

capsule-happy

SHOP: One button jacket, £199, tapered trousers, £120, both Jigsaw

"Thank you to the four brands who came together in supporting Smart Works on this special project - placing purpose over profit and community over competition. In convening several companies rather than one, we’ve demonstrated how we can work collectively to empower each other - another layer to this communal success story, that I am so proud to be a part of.”

capsule-bag

The collection has already proven to be popular, with the John Lewis tote bag selling out in minutes of released. It's expected more will drop any time now. Meghan found out about the news of it selling out while en route to the event and she said: "That's great!"

The Marks & Spencer dress has sold out in some sizes so if you're wanting in on the action, do not delay. 

capsule-sitting-again

 The Smart Set Shirt, £125, Misha Nonoo

READ: Meghan Markle's collection goes on sale early - including this £19.50 Marks & Spencer dress

At the event in John Lewis, the Duchess went on to speak about the ethos behind the project: "I think it's really key in this day and age that we remember it's not just about the people you know you're supporting, it's about the people you don't know - that you may never know, may never meet.

"As women, it is 100% our responsibility, I think, to support and up-lift each other. To champion each other so we aim to succeed, to not set each other up for failure but instead to really be there rallying round each other and say 'I want to help you'.

"And you may not ever meet that person but you know when you put on that blazer or that shirt or you carry that tote or put on those trousers and that dress that some other woman on the other side of this country is wearing that piece because you made that purchase."

Meghan announced the news of her capsule collection in the September Issue of British Vogue, which she guest-edited. The former Suits star is no stranger to fashion design, having released two collections for Canadian retailer Reitmans in 2015 and 2016, which were based on the wardrobe of her character Rachel Zane.

capsule-sitting

BUY IT NOW! £19.50, Marks & Spencer

Last month, Meghan teased fans on Sussex Royal’s Instagram Stories with a behind-the-scenes shoot for the new collection, where she could be seen adjusting a model’s belt, before viewing the images on the screen and clapping her hands with delight. The Duchess became Patron of Smart Works in January, when she paid her first public visit to their London office. She and Harry are preparing for their royal tour of South Africa at the end of the month. 

MORE: Take a look at Meghan Markle's passport holder

Make sure you never miss a ROYAL story! Sign up to our newsletter to get all of our celebrity, royal and lifestyle news delivered directly to your inbox.

This article contains affiliate links, which means HELLO! may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase. More information.