The Duchess of Cambridge, the former Kate Middleton, wears a dress, and it sells out. The so-called Kate Effect has been noted for years.
But although plenty of attention has been paid to the dresses she wore on the royal familys recent tour in Australia and New Zealand, shes not the only one in the family. On the trip, the royal family introduced a new teeny style icon: Prince George, who, as a 9-month-old, is already having a big effect on some fashion businesses.
Every mother, especially the British ones, dream of dressing their children like the royal baby, said Christine Innamorato, the creative director of Bonpoint, an upscale childrens clothier. He might only be 9 months old, but Prince George is already a trendsetter, just like his mother.
Take Rachel Riley, a London-based childrens label that is sold at stores in London, on Madison Avenue and at Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman. Her designs have been all over little Prince George on the trip.
There were the sailboat-smocked dungarees at a play date in New Zealand; the blue cardigan he wore in his mothers arms as they left a plane in Canberra; and the Easter outfit, a striped polo and navy shorts, he wore while examining a bilby (the Aussies version of the Easter bunny, apparently) at the zoo.
Riley, who was unaware that her clothes would be worn by the young prince, feels as if she hit the jackpot.
Its life-changing, she said, on the phone from London. I love to dress my own children, and I love to dress our customers children. But if you asked me if there was one child Id like to dress, it would be the next heir to the throne.
Very good for business
The business has been swift. The sailboat dungarees sold out online in a few hours, maybe less than that, she said. His later outfits (the shorts, the polo shirt, the cardigan, which range from $75 to $99) are not likely to last long. Reorders will be made, she said.
Weve had celebrity customers before, and weve also had royal customers before, but I dont think weve ever had anyone before quite as high profile as Prince George, she said. Being on such a high-profile baby is very good for business.
Others have benefited, too. After Prince George wore an Annafie sailboat romper, the label received a lot of orders for more stock, said Elisabeth von Kospoth, the owner, who encouraged a reporter to consider similar models of the romper.
The shoe company Early Days, in Leicester, in central England, was unprepared after Prince George was spotted in its prewalkers. The Early Days website warns that because of unprecedented demand, online sales have been shut down.
Paul Bolton, an owner, said the shoes sold out online within two hours of the babys appearance in them and that the demand had been far outstripping our production capacity.
If the demand does continue, we will seriously consider expansion, Bolton wrote in an email.
Those shoes sell for less than 30 pounds (about $50), and, in general, almost all of Prince Georges clothes are in the affordable range. The royal family is not jumping into the superluxe designer game, in which a Dolce & Gabbana toddlers sequin dress sells for $1,375 and a Burberry trench goes for more than $800.
And the duchess may have appreciated the flexibility that Rileys clothes seem to provide. She reportedly said that Prince George has grown an extra fat roll on the trip, and Riley, a former model, has said that her classic clothes for kids should fit yes, designers talk like this for tots, too childrens bodies.
Boost for boys fashion
Prince George is not the only baby fashion icon, of course. Beyonce and Jay Zs daughter, Blue Ivy, gave a bump in business at the Catimini store in New York after she was spotted in its silver coat this year.
Theyll see the jacket and start calling and coming in, said Jennifer Grey, the stores manager. It definitely boosts sales.
Riley said her business has a stronger track record with girls, but Prince George may give boys clothes a lift.
Weve always been well known for our girls clothes, she said, and suddenly the boys are overtaking the girls.
Check out more photos of stylish Prince George.