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Meghan believes fashion collection will give women confidence to enter workforce

The Duchess of Sussex said for every piece purchased one will be donated to a client of Smart Works.

The Duchess of Sussex is launching a charity clothing collection (Clodagh Kilcoyne/PA)
The Duchess of Sussex is launching a charity clothing collection (Clodagh Kilcoyne/PA)

By Tony Jones, PA Court Correspondent

The Duchess of Sussex has said unemployed women will be boosted with “confidence and support” whenever a shopper buys an item from her charity clothing collection.

Meghan said for every piece purchased one will be donated to a client of Smart Works, a charity which provides training and interview clothes to women taking “an important step in building a career”.

The Smart Set capsule collection for Smart Works is being formally launched by the duchess later with items going on sale from Thursday.

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The Duchess of Sussex (left), with (l to r) Zara wearing The Smart Set shirt and trouser, Andrea wearing the Smart Set dress and Kate wearing The Smart Set jacket, shirt and trouser (Jenny Zarins/PA)

It includes workwear essentials from an elegant blazer and well-cut trousers by Jigsaw, to a tote bag which fits all the essentials needed for an interview from John Lewis & Partners.

It also features a classic dress, said to be flattering to all sizes from Marks & Spencer, and a crisp white shirt from womenswear designer and the duchess’ friend Misha Nonoo.

Meghan said: “Since moving to the UK, it has been deeply important to me to meet with communities and organisations on the ground doing meaningful work and to try to do whatever I can to help them amplify their impact.

“It was just last September that we launched the Together cookbook with the women of the Hubb Kitchen in Grenfell. Now, one year later, I am excited to celebrate the launch of another initiative of women supporting women, and communities working together for the greater good.

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The bag which is part of the Smart Set capsule collection by the Duchess of Sussex (John Lewis and Partners/PA)

“When you buy any item in the Smart Set capsule collection for Smart Works, the same item will be given to a Smart Works client, and with it, the confidence and support she needs to enter the workforce and take an important step in building a career.

“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.

“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.”

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A dress which is part of the Smart Set capsule collection (Marks and Spencer/PA)

The collection will be on sale for at least two weeks and available in the dressing rooms of Smart Works which Meghan supports as royal patron.

Online, the John Lewis leather Smart Set tote bag is available in tan or black, priced £109, and is described as “a lightweight, versatile and practical weekday accessory for the modern woman”.

While the Marks & Spencer Smart Set crepe shift dress, which costs £19.50, is available in rich blue, black and pink and in regular and petite sizes.

The High Street retailer’s website says “cut from crepe that handily doesn’t require ironing, the shift shape flatters your figure with its clean and simple lines”.

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The Smart Set capsule collection by the Duchess of Sussex (Smart Works/PA)

Juliet Hughes-Hallett, chair and founder of Smart Works, said: “Today Smart Works celebrates its sixth year and its 15,000th client – its 15,000th moment of helping a woman back into the workplace. We have dressed and trained every woman as if she was the only one and made each and every client feel exceptional.

“The Smart Set capsule collection will make a significant difference in our ability to dress our clients in the high-quality clothes and accessories they need, giving her the opportunity to regain her confidence, look fabulous and get the job.”

PA

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