Oroton Meghan Markle


Prince Harry’s finance Meghan Markle has given a much needed boost to struggling Australian accessories brand, Oroton.

The American actress and royal-to-be was spotted at a Commonwealth Youth Forum event in London last week sporting an Oroton cross-body bag along with a blazer by fellow Australian label, Camilla and Marc.

Oroton CEO Ross Lane said in an email on Monday that the ‘Megan Markle effect’ caused the handbag to immediately sell out online and the style is close to selling out in stores.

“[It] has had a flow on effect across sales of other styles,” he said. “Interesting to note, 75 per cent of these online sales were to the US and the UK.”

The brand plans to make a limited quantity of the bag available for pre-order, with product expected to be shipped by August.

As reported by WWD, the net value of the Markle effect equates to about US$212.1 million (AU$275 million), based on media exposure, social media impressions and sales of the brands Markle has worn.

The founders of Canadian label Mackage told WWD their brand racked up 1.6 billion media impressions 24 hours after Markle wore one of their coats.

For Oroton, the Markle effect was a timely boost. The company entered voluntary administration in November last year, after reporting a loss of $14.2 million for the 2016-17 financial year.

Lane acknowledged 2017 was the most difficult in Oroton’s 80-year history, but said the future looks bright, with the company working on a new business structure under the ownership of fund manager Will Vicars.

“Under the creative direction of Sophie Holt our teams have been recalibrating our design offer and retail distribution strategy that will re-engineer our business to compete as a global accessories brand,” he said.

“While there is still plenty of work to be done, Ms Markle’s choice to wear the affordable Avalon bag was a huge endorsement of our new creative direction.”


Sign up to the RetailBiz newsletter.