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Designers Can’t Keep Up with the Meghan Markle Effect: ‘We Have 3,000 People on the Wait List’

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The Meghan Effect is sending designers scrambling.

With just two royal appearances under her fashionable belt, the style choices of Prince Harry’s fiancée, Meghan Markle, are proving so popular that many of the designer labels she has worn have been working round the clock to deal with demand.

Meghan Markle in Nottingham on Dec. 1, 2017, carrying her Strathberry bag.

“The interest in the brand has been incredible” Strathberry spokesperson Leeanne Hundleby tells PEOPLE, adding: “The phones began ringing constantly and our visitor numbers on our website were up by around 5000%!”

There are currently more than 3,000 people signed up to be notified when the bag carried by Markle comes back in stock – which should be mid- to late January.

The bag in question is the Strathberry Midi Tote in burgundy, navy and vanilla ($675) that Markle carried on her first royal walkabout with Prince Harry in Nottingham on Dec. 1. The chic, boxy design, which features a gold crossbar on the handle, sold out in a staggering 11 seconds.

“It felt pretty amazing that thanks to Meghan carrying our design, people all over the world were becoming aware of Strathberry,” notes Hundleby of the family-owned, Edinburgh-based label.

Similarly, the designer of the white wrap-style coat worn by Markle at the official engagement photo call on November 27 has been inundated with “thousands” of orders for the $750 double-faced wool coat. “It was gone in seconds,” says John Muscat, president and co-founder of LINE The Label. “We are now dealing with the aftermath because everyone is trying to get it, but I don’t want 10,000 white coats out there – it has to stay exclusive.”

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at their engagement photo call on Nov. 27, 2017 in London.
PA Images

For much more on Meghan Markle’s amazing journey from L.A. to the palace, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

The Canadian brand, known for their luxurious knitwear (which Markle also loves) hopes to get the coat, now renamed “The Meghan,” back in stock by spring 2018 but in a limited capacity.

Other brands favoured by the soon-to-be royal in the last week have included British labels Joseph and Kurt Geiger, European brands P.A.R.O.S.H and Wolford, as well as Canadian-based Mackage. All of the garments worn by Markle (except for the Wolford bodysuit) have completely sold out.

Of course, this is hardly the first time such royal fashion fanfare has swept the nation. Every time Markle’s future sister-in-law Kate Middleton wears something new, the item sells out instantly, often crashing the retailers website as a stampede of mostly online shoppers scramble to make the same purchase. But with Harry’s fiancée so new on the scene, how has the Meghan effect taken hold so quickly?

“I think there is an appetite for something new and she is a bit of surprise,” says Muscat, who has been working with Markle and her stylist pal Jessica Mulroney for several years. (Markle previously bought the wrap coat in both black and blush pink and also wore one of their leather coats last year in London.) It was Muscat himself  who sent the former Suits star a selection of current collection pieces to wear in London. “But I had no idea it would be for the official engagement photo!” says Muscat, adding, “It’s been a rollercoaster.”

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