LONDON – The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, launched a charity capsule collection to help unemployed women on Thursday at her first official public engagement since the birth of her son Archie.
The Smart Set capsule collection has been created by British firm Jigsaw in collaboration with John Lewis & Partners, Marks & Spencer and designer Misha Nonoo, an intimate friend of Meghan’s and the person who allegedly introduced her to her husband Prince Harry.
Sales of the five-piece work wear range will go towards the Smart Works charity, where Meghan is a patron, to provide outfits to go to work and job interviews to vulnerable and unemployed women.
Designs include a pair of pants, dress, blazer, skirt, bag and white shirt, and for each item sold the organization will donate another identical one to Smart Works which the charity will distribute among its network.
Since becoming a mother on 6 May, Meghan has not participated in any public event.
In recent months, the Duchess attended a polo match in which her husband competed and also supported her friend Serena Williams at the Wimbledon women’s final and the US Open.
Meghan had already announced her involvement in the Smart Works project in the British edition of the Vogue magazine which she edited.
“The reason why I was drawn to Smart Works is that it reframed the idea of charity as community...it’s a network of women supporting and empowering other women in their professional pursuits,” Markle said.
“It’s the enthusiasm of the volunteers, the earnestness of the staff and, most of all, the blushing, bashful and beautiful smile that crosses a client’s face when she sees herself in the mirror, that I have found so profoundly compelling,” she added.
At Thursday’s event in London, Meghan highlighted the responsibility women have to help each other.
“And you may not ever meet that person but you know when you put on that blazer or that shirt or you carry that tote or put on those trousers and that dress that some other woman on the other side of this country is wearing that piece because you made that purchase,” the Duchess said at the launch.
Smart Works has helped more than 11,000 women and aims to dress 3,500 this year through its offices in London and additional locations in Edinburgh, Manchester, Reading, Birmingham and Newcastle.
The organization has a team of 300 volunteers and helps vulnerable women without jobs to regain their self-confidence and provides them with the necessary tools to undertake job interviews.