Published On: Thu, Sep 12th, 2019

Unemployed women are dressing to impress with the help of the duchess | Ents & Arts News


The Duchess of Sussex has launched a clothing range intended to help unemployed women find a job.

Meghan has been working with charity Smart Works, which provides interview clothes and training to women who are out of work.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrives to launch the Smart Works capsule collection
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Meghan arrives to launch the collection

For every item bought in several high street stores or online, another will be donated to the charity. Meghan became its royal patron in January.

The collection’s unveiling this afternoon was the Duchess’s first official engagement since the birth of son Archie in May.

John Lewis & Partners Smart Set Tote. Pic: Jenny Zarins.
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John Lewis & Partners Smart Set Tote. Pic: Jenny Zarins.

Items donated to Smart Works will help give women the “confidence and support (they need) to enter the workforce and take an important step in building a career”, Meghan said.

She also thanked the four brands involved for “placing purpose over profit and community over competition” while taking part in “this special project”.

The collection is the Duchess first project since ending her maternity leave after the birth of Archie Pic: Jenny Zarins
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The collection is the Duchess’s first project since the birth of Archie Pic: Jenny Zarins

Called The Smart Set, the “capsule collection” of seven items comprises “workwear essentials”, with sizes ranging from 6-24.

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There is a “perfect white shirt, an elegant blazer, well cut trousers, a dress that flatters everyone and the perfect tote”.

Two crepe shift dresses come in “vibrant blue and classic black” and retail for £19.50.

Slim-fit, black tapered trousers are £120, the shirt is £125 and the fully lined blazer, which fastens with a single button, is £199.

A pair of bags in tan and black are both £109.

Jigsaw Smart Set suit. Pic: Jenny Zarins
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Jigsaw Smart Set suit. Pic: Jenny Zarins

The range has been developed by Jigsaw, John Lewis and Partners, Marks and Spencer and Meghan’s friend and designer Misha Nonoo, who is credited with introducing her to Prince Harry.

M&S is selling the dresses, while Jigsaw has the blazer and trousers.

The shirt is available from Misha Nonoo and the bags are at John Lewis.

The collection will be available for at least the next two weeks.

Smart Works client Kate said wearing the collection “made me feel like a boss – powerful and strong”.

Smart Set capsule collection. Pic: Jenny Zarins
Image:
Smart Set capsule collection. Pic: Jenny Zarins

When Meghan announced the project earlier in the year, she said she was drawn to Smart Works because it “re-frames the idea of charity as community, which, for me, is incredibly important: it’s a network of women supporting and empowering other women in their professional pursuits”.

Smart Works has helped more than 11,000 women and aims to dress 3,500 this year across its two London offices and additional spaces in Edinburgh, Manchester, Reading, Birmingham and Newcastle.



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Unemployed women are dressing to impress with the help of the duchess | Ents & Arts News