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Denim Brands Reap the Benefits of the “Meghan Markle Effect”

Actress and royal fiancé Meghan Markle is just months away from trading up her skinny jeans for tiaras, but the American’s taste in premium denim is currently boosting buzz and sales for two labels, Mother Denim and Hiut Denim Co.

On Friday, Mother Denim reissued—and sold-out again online—the jeans Markle wore during her first public appearance with now fiancé Prince Harry. Markle wore the $228 Looker ankle fray skinny jeans in Love Gun, a fitted blue jean with raw hems and hand distressing, at the September 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto.

Mother Denim

Royal style watchers can request online to be notified by e-mail when the brand replenishes the jean.

In an interview with Glamour last year, Mother Denim president and brand founder Lela Becker confirmed the “Meghan Markle Effect,” reporting that the brand beat its sales forecast for October by nearly 20 percent.

“We also saw a 60 percent increase in Google searches the last week of September, the week Meghan wore our jeans, versus the first week of September. The day after Meghan wore our jeans, we saw nearly a 200 percent increase in traffic. More people came to our website that day than they did on Black Friday,” Becker told Glamour.

Meanwhile, Welsh denim brand Hiut Denim Co. is bringing on more help to accommodate the spike in demand it has received since Markle wore the brand’s $320 black skinny jeans during a visit to Cardiff Castle in January.

Co-founder David Hieatt told Wales Online the company has a backorder waiting list for three months. “The effect has been remarkable. We are having two more people in and we’re moving to a new factory,” he said.

The odds of Hiut becoming a favorite of the future royal are high, as British royals regularly show support for homegrown talent.

The brand makes its denim in Cardigan, a small town in West Wales with a long denim-making pedigree. The town was home to Britain’s largest jeans factory producing 4,000 garments a day for Marks and Spencers until it closed down in the early 2000s, Wales Online reported.

Hiut wants to bring manufacturing back to the U.K., but at a much slower pace. Although the brand focuses only on denim (its tagline is “Do one thing well”), Hiut’s factory typically produces roughly 100 pairs of jeans a week.

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