Meghan Markle is a big fan of the US brand Carolina Herrera
Meghan Markle delighted fans this week when new pictures of the Duchess emerged, snapping the former-royal heading into a $4,200-a-year private members club in Los Angeles. She looked chic in a wrap coat, leather trousers, and black stiletto pumps. For her date night with Harry at the exclusive club Meghan, wore a beige $1,610 Carolina Herrera cape coat.
Meghan’s cape is one of a number of beige coverups the Duchess has made part of her signature style. The coat, the “double-face wool oversized cape”, comes with a removable scarf at the collar, side pockets, concealed snap fastening, and pleated cuffs with ties.
As well as one being a new addition to Meghan’s ever-growing collection of sandy-hued coats, it is yet another Carolina Herrera piece in Meghan’s expansive wardrobe. Carolina Herrera is a Venezuelan designer who has become known for dressing American icons including, notably, many of the US’s most famous First Ladies. Jacqueline Onassis, Laura Bush, Michelle Obama, and Melania Trump have all worn Herrera looks.
Herrera, 89, was introduced to fashion at an early age by her socialite grandmother. She moved to New York in 1980, hanging out with Andy Warhol and Bianca Jagger in Studio 54. After becoming well known for her own personal style, she began a clothing line after being encouraged to do so by her friend Diana Vreeland, then Editor-in-Chief of Vogue. Now an American citizen, Herrera has become synonymous with good taste, discrete style, and the North American upper class. And Meghan Markle is a big fan.
Meghan is not just a fan, but she is good friends with the creative director of Carolina Herrera, Wes Gordon. The designer interned at Oscar de la Renta and Tom Ford before taking over Herrera in 2018. Meghan and Gordon go back years. She attended Gordon’s eponymous brand’s autumn/winter 2015 show, the same year she first wore a Carolina Herrea garment on Suits.
In a now archived blog post for her blog The Tig, a costume designer for Suits Jolie Andreatta named checked Gordon. She stated that on the characters: “You’ll find the likes of Dior, Giambattista Valli, Burberry, Lanvin, Dsquared2, Wes Gordon, Nina Ricci, Balenciaga, Givenchy and so many more. I will use any and all designers to make the cast stand out, true to the character and story.”
Meghan Markle wore a custom Carolina Herrera dress to the Trooping the Colour 2018
Wes Gordon (above with Karlie Kloss at the Met Gala) has be friends with Meghan for eight years
Carolina Herrera has formed a major part of Meghan’s post-Royal Family red carpet style. Recently, when attending the 2021 Salute To Freedom Gala with Prince Harry, Meghan wore a bright red, voluminous ballgown from Carolina Herrera, which costs £5,380. She also wore a £2,494.11 Herrera gown for her October 2022 Variety interview shoot in October last year.
As noted, Meghan’s journey with Herrera goes back a long way. One of the first recorded moments the now-Duchess wore the designer was playing Rachel Zane on the cable show Suits, before Gordon took the helm at the brand. Meghan’s character wore a black halter top with white and gold floral applique for a night out in season five of the show, filmed in 2015.
She wore a spectacular black and white Carolina Herrera Mikado bustier tulle ball gown (£6,667.49) for her Vanity Fair cover story in 2017. This was a huge moment for the actor because in the article she was quoted discussing her romance with Prince Harry publically for the first time. In the interview, she called the royal her “boyfriend” and said, “We’re a couple. We’re in love. I’m sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell, but I hope what people will understand is that this is our time.
“This is for us. It’s part of what makes it so special, that it’s just ours. But we’re happy. Personally, I love a great love story.”
The black and white Carolina Herrera ballgown likely represented to many a modern Cinderella story. A nod to the life of ballgowns and palaces the actress, for a few years, would live, styled with a modern twist. Meghan posed barefoot in the dress, a hand in her untamed, beachy hair.
Carolina Herrera is a Venezuelan designer who has become known for dressing American icons
Meghan at Herrera creative director Wes Gordon’s show in 2015
The next time Meghan would be seen in a Herrera dress, however, holding a white version of the £970 Metropolitan Insignia clutch, it was a different sartorial story. Meghan, who had married Harry under two months prior, wore a bespoke Carolina Herrera peach-coloured gown, made by her friend Gordon.
This was a huge moment for the new Duchess, her first major royal event as an official member of the Royal Family, the late Queen’s official birthday celebrations no less.
However, the dress was criticised. At the time Harper’s Bazaar reported that the Duchess broke royal protocol by wearing an “off-the-shoulder” gown. The magazine declared: “The Duchess of Sussex is a rule breaker.”
This was among the first in a series of occasions the Duchess was accused of breaking royal protocol. The Duchess attended several events bare-legged, a breach of protocol according to royal experts who claimed women in “the Firm” are expected to wear tights.
On one such occasion in August 2018, royal expert Victoria Arbiter commented: “You never see a royal without their nude stockings. Meghan, from what I can see from the engagement photographs, it doesn’t look like she was wearing tights or stockings. I would say that’s really the only hard, steadfast rule in terms of what the Queen requires.”
Other such reported breaches of “protocol” include wearing Dior to her Archie Christening instead of a British designer and dressing in black for royal duties.
Meghan Markle talks about style with Yahoo!
Meghan wore a £2,350 denim dress from the brand to attend a polo match
Despite the backlash against Meghan’s Trooping the Colour look, the Duchess continued to wear the designer. She wore a £2,350 denim dress from the brand to attend a polo match.
The Duchess sparked headlines in May 2021, when she flew to New York for a baby shower thrown by her friends, reported to have cost $500,000. The five-day celebration was attended by pals and attendees at her wedding, such as Serena Williams and Amal Clooney.
It was claimed royal aides weren’t impressed with the trip, and journalist Omid Scobie told Channel 4 documentary A Very Royal Baby: From Cradle to Crown: “I remember speaking to a palace aide at the time who rolled their eyes, they were horrified that something so common was happening within the House of Windsor.”
Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine, called the shower “trashy”. She added: “They walked in through the front entrance carrying these enormous bags from the most expensive shops in New York.” Meghan’s bag was the Carolina Herrera Mariola shoulder bag, £895.
In January of the next year, Harry and Meghan shocked the public and, according to reports, the rest of the Royal Family, when they used Instagram to announce they would be stepping back from their roles as senior royals. Since Carolina Herrera has remained a staple in Meghan’s wardrobe.
The Duchess chose to wear a bespoke dress from the brand, created especially for her by Gordon, to announce her second pregnancy on Valentine’s Day 2021. In a snap, taken by a photographer remotely on FaceTime due to COVID restrictions, Meghan lay in the grass with her head in Harry’s lap, hand on her bump. She wore a floor-length Carolina Herrera gown, which the Duchess had made and wore during her first pregnancy with Archie.
At the time, Gordon praised the Duchess for wearing the dress more than once. He said: “At Herrera, we’re committed to pursuing sustainable fabrics. But the number one thing that someone can do for sustainability is hold on to those pieces you buy and use them for a longer amount of time. That’s why I think what Meghan did is such a powerful message. She wore a dress that’s no less beautiful, because it’s two years old… it makes her feel no less special or no less happy.”
Meghan and those at her baby shower were criticised for their expensive handbags
But Herrera is not just reserved for the Duchess’s intimate family moments. She also wore the brand to appear at VAX Live in May 2021.
Meghan and Harry were co-chairs for Global Citizen’s Vax Live benefit concert, an unusually political move for two royals, but one the pair were free to make since they had stepped back from their duties. Global Citizen’s Vax Live benefit concert aimed to support worldwide vaccination amid the coronavirus pandemic.
For the video live stream, Meghan glowed in an eye-catching bright red poppy print floral Carolina Herrera silk shirt dress that retails for £1,408.68.
The Duchess has taken Herrera along to work too, as well as date nights and royal events. She carried the CH Doma Insignia Satchel, a £1,310, bag, to attend the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games in Canada on April 15, 2022.
In December last year, Harry and Meghan received the Ripple of Hope Award from the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights (RFKHR) organization at a gala in New York. The pair were given the award for showing an “unwavering commitment to social change”.
The organization’s president, Kerry Kennedy, said in a statement: “The couple has always stood out for their willingness to speak up and change the narrative on racial justice and mental health around the world.”
She told El Confidencial: “They went to the oldest institution in UK history and told them what they were doing wrong, that they couldn’t have structural racism within the institution; that they could not maintain a misunderstanding about mental health.
“They knew that if they did this there would be consequences, that they would be ostracised, they would lose their family, their position within this structure, and that people would blame them for it. They have done it anyway because they believed they couldn’t live with themselves if they didn’t question this authority. I think they have been heroic in taking this step.”
The Duchess wore a pure white off-the-shoulder dress from Louis Vuitton for the awards and accessorised with the CH Carolina Herrera ‘Kaleidoscope’ Earrings, £130.