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The Kate Middleton effect (also the Kate effect, the Duchess of Cambridge effect or the Duchess effect) refers to the trend effect that Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge has on others, from cosmetic surgery for brides, to sales of coral-coloured jeans. Although Middleton was in the public eye for many years as the girlfriend of Prince William, the effect began after the announcement of the couple's engagement in November 2010, which spawned a media frenzy.

According to Newsweek, "The Kate Effect may be worth £1 billion to the UK fashion industry," while Tony DiMasso, L.K.Bennett ’s US president, stated in 2012, "...when she does wear something, it always seems to go on a waiting list". The Duchess has reportedly influenced Hollywood stars such as Angelina Jolie who has begun wearing designs by one of her designers, Jenny Packham.

Not only does Middleton have a direct impact on the fashion companies whose clothes she wears, "the Kate effect" also helps other companies who sell items of clothing similar to what she wears. The purchase of flesh coloured tights saw a 500% increase since the Duchess of Cambridge became a media favourite. In June 2012, just hours after the Duchess wore a nude-coloured lace dress by Alexander McQueen for a ceremony at St Paul's Cathedral, George at Asda reported a 35% sale increase in a £25 nude lace dress that was part of their collection. The following day, it was sold out nationwide.

Kate Middleton's fashion choices have also had a profound effect on charitable causes. Her wedding dress was put on display at Buckingham Palace in the summer of 2011. The display helped to raise approximately £8million for the Royal Collection, as well as the charitable fund of the Duke and Duchess, and was reported to have drawn a record number of visitors. This charitable contribution was enhanced in 2012 when the Duchess gave her first public speech for her patronage, EACH, and was seen wearing one of their charity bracelets. The bracelet then went on to sell out rapidly.

The Kate Effect is facilitated by online social media and technological developments. In March 2011, after the announcement of their first public engagement, the website What Kate Wore was launched. The website comments on the outfits chosen by the Duchess, as well as providing links to the designers of said outfits. In August 2012, a mobile application entitled Kate's Style List, was created. The app provides a comprehensive list of the outfits worn by the Duchess, and where they can be purchased, allowing fans to recreate her look for themselves.

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