Just hours after delivering her third child on April 23, Kate Middleton stepped out of St. Mary’s Hospital in London with the new royal baby in her arms. Exiting the building’s doors with Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge posed on the steps outside the Lindo Wing. She wore nude Gianvito Rossi pumps and an elegant red Jenny Packham dress with a white lace collar, complete with a fresh blowout and classic pearl-drop earrings.
Social media went wild, with many fans marveling at Middleton’s ability to wear heels hours after having a baby. It was another major style moment for the duchess, who demonstrated the power a royal can have in fashion, causing brands’ websites to crash and products she had worn to sell out in seconds. It all started with her engagement announcement to Prince William in 2010, where her blue Issa dress and black suede heeled pumps by the British label Episode caused retail havoc.
Things haven’t slowed down since. Throughout her time in the spotlight, Middleton has kept earning style credentials and helped catapult a number of her favorite labels to success.
On the footwear front, L.K. Bennett’s court pumps and wedges, Jimmy Choo’s sparkly sandals, Penelope Chilvers’ equestrian boots and Rupert Sanderson’s pumps have been some of the key brands and styles that have taken over her closet.
For Chilvers, the sales impact has been noticeable. “We’ve enjoyed a positive effect — both immediate and long-term,” said the designer, whose brown leather knee boots have seen Middleton through many countryside walks. “The interest it generates comes like a tidal wave. We have noticed growth in the American market and other territories, including Europe and Australia.”
Chilvers added that having a royal in her shoes can be more meaningful than a celebrity, because the stakes are often higher: “Every decision she makes is scrutinized by the world’s press. While there are hundreds of celebrities, each with their individual following, there is only one British royal family,” Chilvers said.
The fact that the duchess is regularly seen rewearing the brand’s clothes and shoes — she has worn Chilvers’ Long Tassel Boots on multiple occasions — also sends a positive message about fashion consumption to the public. “[Middleton’s] generation is aware that fast fashion is wasteful, harmful to our planet and unnecessary,” added the designer, pointing to the young royal’s embrace of British style, characterized by understated, trendless pieces that “often look better with age.”