Belfast Telegraph

Duchess of Cambridge’s favoured maternity brand warns of no-deal Brexit threat

Founder Cecile Reinaud said exporters like Seraphine would suffer from ‘border chaos’.

The Duchess of Cambridge has worn maternity brand Seraphine on more than one occasion (Hannah McKay/PA)
The Duchess of Cambridge has worn maternity brand Seraphine on more than one occasion (Hannah McKay/PA)

By Alys Key, PA City Reporter

A maternity brand which received a global bump from the so-called “Kate effect” when it was worn by the Duchess of Cambridge has warned that a no-deal Brexit threatens its international business.

British-based company Seraphine said there were “unacceptable risks” attached to a no-deal scenario which could scupper its efforts to become a global brand.

Founder and chief executive Cecile Reinaud said: “A no-deal Brexit shows no consideration for growth businesses such as ours, successful exporters flying the flag across the world, who will be the first to suffer from border chaos and talent flight.

“The Government is making up policy on the hoof. No-deal is the perfect way to ensure UK SMEs lose their global standing.”

Seraphine, which was founded in London in 2002, gained attention on the world stage in 2013 when the Duchess wore a dress by the brand for the first official portrait of Prince George.

She has since worn outfits from the label on various occasions, including last year’s royal visit to Sweden.

Seraphine’s blue Natasha coat sold out after the Duchess of Cambridge wore it in 2015 (Yui Mok/PA)

In 2015, it was reported that the brand’s Natasha coat had sold out after the Duchess wore the item on a visit to a charity in Kensington.

Seraphine, which has also been worn by the likes of Anne Hathaway, Mila Kunis and Shakira during their own pregnancies, said it became an “instant global hit” thanks to Kate.

But the company has warned that disruption to UK ports would affect its ability to export to the 40 countries it serves.

Around 70% of Seraphine’s lines are destined for international locations, with 40% of all exports going to mainland Europe.

The brand is also concerned about restrictions on freedom of movement, due to its workforce being evenly split between UK and continental European nationals.

“Its multilingual and multicultural staff are a business benefit in expanding international markets and their departure would only benefit competitive EU brands,” the company said.