The Duchess of Sussex surprised a group of women when they arrived to model clothing from her capsule collection, which benefits her patronage Smart Works

By Stephanie Petit
September 12, 2019 09:06 AM
Meghan Markle
Jenny Zarins

Meghan Markle is full of surprises!

On Thursday, Meghan is launching a capsule collection of women’s workwear to benefit her patronage Smart Works, a charity that helps women land jobs — but first, she’s sharing new behind-the-scenes snaps from the line’s photo shoot.

“Last month, the Duchess of Sussex surprised Smart Works clients during the capsule collection shoot in west London,” read a caption on the @SussexRoyal Instagram page. The black and white shots show the models’ shocked expressions when they see Meghan.

The royal mom previously shared the first glimpse of her project in a candid Instagram Story last month in a video set to the Bill Withers’ 1977 hit, “Lovely Day.” Meghan excitedly greeted the women with a royal hug and then proceeded to help direct the shoot from the sidelines and even pitch in with styling.

Dressed casually chic in skinny jeans, a blue-and-white striped collared shirt by sustainable British women’s shirt brand With Nothing Underneath and nude heels, Meghan was animated as she laughed and joked around on set.

The five-piece capsule collection is aimed at providing the Smart Works clients with the classic wardrobe pieces to help them feel confident as they get back into the workplace.

“Since moving to the U.K., it has been deeply important to me to meet with communities and organizations on the ground doing meaningful work and to try to do whatever I can to help them amplify their impact,” Meghan, 38, said in a statement. “It was just last September that we launched the Together cookbook with the women of the Hubb Kitchen in Grenfell. Today, a year later, I am excited to celebrate the launch of another initiative of women supporting women, and communities working together for the greater good.”

Meghan Markle
Jenny Zarins
Meghan Markle
Jenny Zarins

“Thank you to the four brands who came together in supporting Smart Works on this special project — placing purpose over profit and community over competition,” she added. “In convening several companies rather than one, we’ve demonstrated how we can work collectively to empower each other — another layer to this communal success story, that I am so proud to be a part of.”

The collection features a shirt, trousers, blazer, dress and tote bag. For every item bought during the two-week sale of the collection, one will be donated to Smart Works.

Meghan Markle
Jenny Zarins

In the September issue of British Vogue, which she guest edited, Meghan revealed that she has partnered with her designer friend, Misha Nonoo, to create the capsule collection.

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Meghan Markle
Jenny Zarins

“When you walk into a Smart Works space you’re met with racks of clothing and an array of bags and shoes,” Meghan wrote. “Sometimes, however, it can be a potpourri of mismatched sizes and colors, not always the right stylistic choices or range of sizes.”

“To help with this, I asked Marks & Spencer, John Lewis & Partners, Jigsaw and my friends, the designer Misha Nonoo, if they were willing to design a capsule collection of more classic options for a workwear wardrobe,” she added. “Taking the idea further, many of the brands agreed to use the one-for-one model: for each item purchased by a customer, one is donated to the charity. Not only does this allow us to be part of each other’s story, it reminds us we are in it together.”

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