How Kate Middleton Is Attached To Meghan Markle’s New Capsule Collection

Meghan Markle’s capsule collection with Smart Works has an interesting link to Kate Middleton. The Duchess of Sussex’s collaboration with Smart Works focuses on workwear for women who are looking to start new careers, and one of the company’s partners is Middleton’s old employer.

Meghan Markle capsule collection
Meghan Markle at the launch of her capsule collection | Photo by Mark Large – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Inside Middleton’s connection to Markle’s capsule collection

Meghan Markle recently appeared in London for the launch of her new collection. The appearance was the Suits star’s first public outing since giving birth to baby Archie this past spring. A part of the sales from her collection goes towards Smart Works, a charitable organization that aids women in the search for gainful employment.

The lineup includes a variety of business-inspired clothing appearing in stores like Marks & Spencer, Jigsaw, and John Lewis & Partners. Jigsaw, of course, is the same brand that employed Middleton when she was still Prince William’s girlfriend.

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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

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According to People, Middleton was a part of the Jigsaw team in 2006. The founder of the company, Belle Robinson, is a friend of Middleton’s family and gave her the job after talking to the future Duchess of Cambridge in person.

Middleton worked for the company for a couple of weeks and reportedly behaved like a typical employee. Back in 2008, Robinson opened up about Middleton’s time with the company and revealed that there was nothing special about her employment.

“She sat in the kitchen at lunchtime and chatted with everyone from the van drivers to the account girls. She wasn’t precious,” Robinson shared.

Robinson noted that she was very impressed with how Middleton handled herself at the office. Middleton did not last long at the company. She left her position in 2006 to start working for her mom and dad’s business, Party Pieces.

Meghan Markle launches her new capsule collection

Markle is an official patron for Smart Works and revealed that a portion of the proceeds from her capsule collection will go towards the charity. For every piece she sells, an item will be donated to the organization, helping women succeed in finding work.

During the launch event, Markle explained that she teamed up with Smart Works when she first moved to London because she wanted to connect with citizens around the country. She was also looking forward to working with a community-based initiative.

“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,” Meghan Markle stated.

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Last month, The Duchess of Sussex surprised Smart Works clients during the capsule collection shoot in west London…Today, The Duchess, alongside @SmartWorksCharity – in partnership with @InsideJigsaw, @JohnLewisandPartners, @MarksandSpencer and @MishaNonoo – are incredibly proud to reveal to everyone, #TheSmartSet – a five piece capsule collection that will equip the Smart Works clients with the classic wardrobe pieces to help them feel confident as they mobilise back into the work space. • “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. Today, a year later, I am excited to celebrate the launch of another initiative of women supporting women, and communities working together for the greater good. 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” – The Duchess of Sussex The collection – which features a shirt, trousers, blazer, dress and tote bag – will be on sale for two weeks starting today, with the objective of selling enough units to give Smart Works the essentials they need to help dress clients for the coming year! For every item bought during the sale of the collection, one will be donated to Smart Works, this 1:1 model allows customers to directly support the Smart Works women by playing a part in their success story – how they look and more importantly, how they feel. Photo © @JennyZarins

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The former actress also stated that she loves working on smaller projects that have a bigger impact in the community. Her collaboration with Smart Works is also similar to what her husband, Prince Harry, does in the charitable world.

In fact, Markle is looking forward to working on more community-minded projects, especially now that she and Harry have their own charitable organization, Sussex Royal. The couple launched the charity this year after separating from Middleton and William’s establishment, The Royal Foundation.

Markle’s capsule collection, meanwhile, will feature key elements that are required in business interviews. This includes items like fashionable trousers, modern blazers, and a gorgeous tote bag. The pieces range anywhere from $32 to $125.

Markle set for her tour of South Africa

The launch of her new capsule collection comes as Markle and Harry prep for their big tour of South Africa. The Sussex’s will be visiting several countries during their tour and are expected to bring along their new son, Archie.

In honor of her new collection, Meghan Markle has purchased all the items in her lineup and will wear them during the tour. Markle hopes what wearing her own line will encourage women to give it a try and raise awareness about everything Smart Works does in the community.

Markle teamed up with her good friend and fashion expert, Misha Nonoo, to create the capsule collection. Markle previously revealed that her goal was to create items that complemented each other and fit a wide range of shapes and sizes.

Middleton has not commented on her connection to Markle’s newest endeavor. When she worked for Jigsaw, Middleton helped design a charm necklace with Claudia Bradby. The jewelry featured a silver chain, rose quartz crystal, a pink pearl, and a silver bean.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are scheduled to tour South Africa this fall, so it will not be long before we see some of the items in her capsule collection in action.