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Red Carpets and Royalty Behind This Big Fashion Trend

High-profile appearances by Prince William and Daniel Craig have sent interest in velvet blazers soaring.

On Sunday, the Duke of Cambridge presided over the inaugural Earthshot Awards ceremony decked out in a green velvet Reiss blazer. The distinctive piece—which the royal also wore to a 2019 charity gala—apparently struck a chord with watchers at home, with searches for men’s velvet blazers up 52 percent less than a day after the event, according to Lyst. Searches for black polo-neck jumpers—like the one Prince William wore under his coat—climbed 22 percent, the global fashion shopping platform found.

Less than three weeks earlier, James Bond himself sparked a similar jump in interest. Just a couple of days after Craig slipped into a bright pink jacket for the long-delayed world premiere of “No Time To Die,” searches for velvet blazers and formal jackets were up 46 percent, Lyst said.

Though Prince William and Craig may be two of the most prominent figures to don a velvet jacket in recent days, they are hardly the only celebrities to embrace the piece.

This Monday, Aquaman portrayer Jason Momoa wore a red velvet blazer to the premiere of “Dune.” Siblings Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal attended the New York Film Festival on Sept. 29 in matching velvet outfits. Ten days earlier, both Jason Sudeikis, the Saturday Night Live alum and star of Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso,” and Bo Burnham, the comedian behind the May Netflix special “Inside,” showed up to the Emmy Awards decked out in velvet. Less than a week prior, fashion-loving P.J. Tucker of the NBA’s Miami Heat entered the Met Gala sporting a burnt orange velvet jacket. On Sep. 3, “The Crown” actress Olivia Colman attended the Venice International Film Festival in an inky indigo velvet blazer of her own.

According to Lyst, searches for velvet blazers and formal jackets increased 70 percent over the past month. Looking at a selection of mass market U.S. men’s retailers, the number of products described as velvet or velour rose 185 percent when comparing 2019 and 2021, Edited said. Interest in velour and velvet is “almost equal” to last year, as retailers use 2020 as a benchmark for how many new products to bring in this year, the retail analytics firm noted.

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This time last year, however, interest in the plush material likely derived less from red carpet outfits than from more casual options, such as Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian West’s Skims’ velour range. According to Lyst, searches for velour tracksuits jumped 54 percent the week after it was revealed the celebrities were partnering up. Searches for the term “velvet sweatpants” climbed 80 percent.