Kate Middleton isn't known for being flashy.
You won't see her wearing something out of Lady Gaga's closet, or even sporting stilettos that have over a three-inch heel. Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, may not be what many in the fashion world consider "fashion forward." However, even without the fashion moniker, she has single handedly breathed life into brands like Jenny Packham and Temperly. She is even credited with the return of pantyhose.
According to the annual analysis by the Global Language Monitor (GLM), the term "The Duchess Effect" is sitting atop the Fashion Buzzword List for the second year in a row. Proof that Kate doesn't have to be over the top to matter in fashion.
GLM's Manhattan-based Fashion Director, Bekka Payack, says of the buzzword:
“The Duchess Effect appears to extend much further than the economic impact of Kate’s fashion choices; this year the fashion landscape seems to be a brighter, more accessible place with the styles more colorful, feminine and graceful than we’ve observed in many years. Fashion is now being influenced from all points on the globe, with the rise of the regional fashion centers driving tribal, sustainable and eco-based trends."
Part of Kate's charm, as Payack points out, is her accessible wardrobe. A great example of The Dutchess Effect, defined by GLM as, "The positive economic impact of Kate Middleton’s fashion choices, derived from her new title, ‘the Duchess of Cambridge,'" is evident in the bottom line of mid-range line Reiss. After Kate began wearing the line to several events, including a white shift dress by the brand in her engagement photos, Reiss' profit margin doubled, going from £4.3 million to £8.5 million ($6.7 million to $13.2 million) in 2011.
Beyond the help Kate has given to retail, she has helped shape a new style for women around the world. Kate has played a part in bringing back lady-like fashion. Women emulate her look by wearing longer dresses (the midi length dress is one of Spring 2012's hottest looks), preppy style and ultra feminine prints.