THE Duchess of Sussex will return to work following her maternity leave today, as she visits Smart Works to launch a women’s workwear collection in aid of the charity.
Meghan, 38, became a patron of the organisation in January and has been working on the collection – which includes a shirt, blazer, trousers, a dress and a bag – over the last few months.
For each item bought from the capsule collection, another will be donated to the charity – which provides clothing, training and interview prep to help unemployed women get back into the workplace.
The Duchess visited the charity at the start of the year and became inspired after noticing that Smart Works’ clothing donations often lacked the right sizes and choices.
“When you walk into a Smart Works space you’re met with racks of clothing and an array of bags and shoes,” she wrote, while guest-editing Vogue.
“Sometimes, however, it can be a potpourri of mismatched sizes and colours, not always the right stylistic choices or range of sizes.
“To help with this, I asked Marks & Spencer, John Lewis & Partners, Jigsaw and my friend, the designer Misha Nonoo, if they were willing to design a capsule collection of more classic options for a workwear wardrobe.”
According to the palace: “Her Royal Highness wanted to collaborate on this capsule collection with Smart Works and ensure that its clients are equipped with both the skills and clothes they need to feel job-ready.”
The range is in partnership with Jigsaw, John Lewis & Partners, Marks & Spencer and her fashion designer pal Misha Nonoo, and will be on sale for “at least two weeks”
Today, Meghan will give a speech before watching a short panel chat, to unveil the line, which will be on sale for “at least two weeks.
What is Smart Works?
- Smart Works provides clothes, confidence and coaching to get women back into the workplace.
- The charity helps over 2,000 women across two offices in London, with over half succeeding at their job interview.
- Each client receives a two-hour appointment where they will receive one complete interview outfit free of charge, which they can keep.
- They then take part in a one-to-one interview coaching session.
- The clothes are a mix of new and slightly worn pieces and if the client is successful in any interview, they are able to return to Smart Works for another appointment where they will receive more items of clothing to help build a working wardrobe.
Founded in 2013, Smart Works helps unemployed and vulnerable women regain the skills and confidence for job interviews and returning to employment.
This includes providing clothes for job interviews, offering one-to-one interview training and providing the opportunity to join the Smart Works network, where women can meet every month to discuss their progress.
The royal has visited the organisation a number of times, helping several women transform their lives.
Thanks to the charity’s incredible work, two thirds of women involved go on to get a job.
Smart Works has helped more than 11,000 women and aims to dress 3,500 this year across their two London offices, as well as Edinburgh, Manchester, Reading, Birmingham and Newcastle.