She may be a British royal now, but Meghan Markle still pays tribute to her previously adopted home of Canada.
On Tuesday, the Duchess of Sussex visited the Nelson Mandela Centenary Exhibition in London clad in a sleeveless trench dress designed by Calgary-based fashion label Nonie. She was accompanied by her husband, Prince Harry.
She paired the stylish frock with heels and a clutch, all in monochromatic blush pink — a shade she is known to favour. It is believed that this is the first time Markle has worn a Canadian designer since her wedding to Prince Harry in May.
WATCH: Meghan Markle wore a dress by Calgary-based fashion label, Nonie, to visit the Nelson Mandela tribute in London.
Nina Kharey, design director of Nonie, told Global News she was “shocked” to see Markle wearing one of her creations at a high-profile event.
“It’s nice to know that the most famous woman in the world — and she happens to be part of the royal family — they approve of what you’re doing and they approve of your product and I think that’s just such an amazing stamp to have,” Kharey said.
LISTEN: Calgary designer Nina Kharey joins Angela Kokott to share what it’s like to have royalty wear one of her designs
Kharey said that Markle requested the dress last November prior to her engagement. It may have taken her some time to pull it out of her wardrobe, but it was well worth the wait for the designer who said that she immediately began to feel the “Meghan effect.”
“It’s a really cool feeling knowing that when she gets dressed she’s got to know that attention… she’s going to get and the fact that she chose to wear ,” she said.
“It’s kind of cool because she’s changing someone’s life without even knowing it.”
Kharey said she’d been watching orders pouring in on the company’s website throughout the day.
“I’d say she’s helping me make dreams come true for myself, absolutely,” she said.
The former Suits star isn’t the only celebrity to wear the Calgary-based brand. Kharey also counts famous Canadians Jessica Mulroney, Chantal Kreviazuk and Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau among her star-studded clientele.
Markle has proven to be a champion for Canadian fashion, and is frequently photographed in both stalwart and burgeoning local labels, including Smythe, Mackage, Birks and Sentaler. In November, when she and Prince Harry announced their engagement, the soon-to-be royal wore a white wrap coat by Canadian brand Line the Label. The style sold out online in the same day.
“It’s really great knowing that it’s helping put Canada on the map,” Kharey said. “Every time she wears a piece that’s Canadian, it brings so much attention to all the designers here and all the talents here.”
The Nonie dress she wore Tuesday was part of the label’s spring/summer 2018 collection and retails for $1,085. It is also available in black.
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