Ever since Prince William proposed to his longtime girlfriend Kate Middleton, the gossip press, both in the U.S. and abroad, has been busy compiling slideshows of her style essentials, long-form ruminations on how she may or may not dress like Diana, and revelations of a not-so-glamorous period (she “wore braces on her teeth” and was “quite gangly” at the age of 12 — as was just about everyone). The Times Herald has declared her style, “natural, unforced and unpretentious.” Even Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld has weighed in on Kate’s look, stating that, “She is very different from Princess Diana, and seems very well balanced and a happy person. She is chic in a way the position needs.”
The intense scrutiny has resulted in serious sales for some of the designers Kate sports. The blue Issa dress she wore to the official engagement announcement sold out within a day, reports Vogue U.K. The same thing happened to a Topshop dress she wore on her 25th birthday a few years ago. It seems the the public wants everything she’s wearing, including her iconic (and enormous) sapphire-and-diamond engagement ring, which jewelry makers are busy creating replicas of as we speak. (Milliners are hoping that her love of hats will help their business.)
Meanwhile, speculation has already been reaching frenzy-levels over the designer she will pick to design her wedding dress.
It’s clear that, whether she wanted it or not, Kate has been shoved into a spotlight that’s much more bright than the one focused on Michelle Obama, whose wardrobe choices have also been the topic of much debate (and have themselves resulted in big sales for companies like J.Crew). Like Michelle, Kate now has a great opportunity to promote homegrown designers like Issa.