Meghan Markle launched her capsule collection today in support of Smart Works, a non-profit that provides wardrobe items for women who are re-entering the workforce. The Smart Collection features pieces from well-known British brands John Lewis, M&S, Jigsaw, and Meghan’s close friend Misha Nonoo. What I really like about this presentation is that Smart Works clients are the ones featured in the clothing – you can see them wearing their outfits here and learn more about their stories. Maybe we can finally close the conversation on why clothes are important and what clothes can do for people.
Here’s what one of their clients, Kate, said about the Smart Works experience:
“At Smart Works, you’ll experience people who are passionate about helping you not only to look your best, but to be the best you. It is an experience you won’t forget.”
Whilst wearing the collection, Kate said “my outfit made me feel like a boss – powerful and strong. It made me feel amazing and reminded me how far I have come and the future I have in front of me.”
We had a similar program when I worked at Covenant House Vancouver. People would talk about street youth like they were lazy – get a f-cking job, you’re young! There are a lot of barriers facing homeless kids who are running from abuse and struggle with mental health issues but even if they are in a place where they’re ready to work, the process of getting the job is a challenge, especially if you’re starting over and you have few belongings. Covenant House Vancouver has a closet with all kinds of interview wardrobe options that can be used for specifically those occasions to set them up for success.
According to Smart Works, “one in two of the women we help gets the job”. I’ll take those odds.
Today marked Royal Meghan’s return from maternity leave, just two weeks or so before she and Prince Harry leave for southern Africa for Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor’s first tour. As we know, she’s been taking weeks of sh-t from the UK press so there was some anticipation as to how she’d handle the situation. Please. This is not an amateur. She handled it like there was no situation, taking to the podium without notes, sharing the inspiration for this project and how she brought all stakeholders together. Meghan is comfortable with the spotlight, she is experienced with public speaking, and she’s experienced enough to make it sound like her remarks weren’t prepared. You’ll note, at the beginning, there was city noise, sirens, in the background and she asked, quite naturally, if she should “hold for sound”. Ha. That’s an on-set expression. HOLD FOR SOUND! is heard often during filming. So those muscles are still active. Pay attention too during her speech for the part when she mentions the “lilac blazer”. This is definitely not royal and I love it. What she’s saying here, diplomatically, is that, well, if you wouldn’t wear the “lilac blazer”, why would the women of Smart Works? There’s a risk in that in her position, especially since the UK media is ready to tear her down. Tomorrow’s headline in the Daily Mail is probably going to be MEGHAN ATTACKS THE LILAC BLAZER, along with a photo of “Karen” asking for the manager to complain on behalf of the “lilac blazer” screaming that Meghan should know that everyone’s not as fashionable as she is and who does she think she is to criticise people who wear the “lilac blazer”. #JusticeForTheLilacBlazer
I mean, that’s not her point, and she rounds it out later in the speech, about the spirit of giving something away, but my point is that she wasn’t playing it safe and offering boring platitudes – it helps the mission to get as real about the initiative as possible, about why the collection will help, about why Smart Works clients would appreciate a blazer in a different colour.
Meghan — wearing a @mishanonoo shirt, trousers from @InsideJigsaw and earring that belonged to Princess Diana — welcomes guests and tells the #SmartSetCollection story... pic.twitter.com/KatAzqXNhj— Omid Scobie (@scobie) September 12, 2019
“It was just last September that we launched the Together cookbook with the women of the Hubb Kitchen,” says Meghan. “Now, one year later, I am excited to celebrate the launch of another initiative of women supporting women, and communities working together for the greater good.” pic.twitter.com/LxfWcOLJi9— Omid Scobie (@scobie) September 12, 2019
Meghan concludes her remarks and talks about the importance of women supporting other women💪🏻💪🏼💪🏽💪🏾💪🏿 #SmartSetCollection pic.twitter.com/OQFdN7eYhK— Omid Scobie (@scobie) September 12, 2019
I wrote the other day that Meghan could be in “f-ck it” mode in her approach to how the UK press has been treating her. We might have seen some of that today. They’re going to mess with her whether or not she complies so why not just “f-ck it”? Don’t forget too where she’s from. She has celebrity DNA. Celebrities know how to turn a story around. Celebrities are also a lot more willing to be the centre of a story, no matter what the story. She’ll be able to take the blows and throw them right back.
That said, Sussex Royal still needs a copy editor. I guess we all do, but most of us don’t have titles and crests and crowns and sh-t, you know?