Duchess of Cambridge causes a run on a £17.50 dress

Kate Middleton

Kate Middleton is something of a clothing phenomenon. As soon as she wears a particular dress, it starts flying off the shelves and the retailer is forced to declare it a sell-out.

Now she has been seen in a £17.50 dress, so will it spark a stampede?


The dress is question is a navy maternity dress, which Middleton wore to shop for nursery designs in Chelsea last week. It is in the sale at Asos, reduced from £25 to £17.50, and the retailer has reported that it has sold thousands of the dresses since Middleton was seen in it. It told the Daily Mail that it was planning to cash in, and order more dresses in more colours.

As the Daily Telegraph reports, Middleton has a reputation for finding gems on the high street, including Topshop and Reiss. After Middleton wore one of its dresses for her official engagement photograph at the end of 2010, reports claims that shoppers had crashed the store's website in an effort to buy the sold-out dress.


Some famous faces have the power to sell, as thousands flock to emulate their style. Kate is one of the most powerful at the moment. The Reiss dress phenomenon was the first time it showed itself, however the same thing happened after she wore a Shola Reiss dress to meet Michelle Obama at Buckingham Palace.

More recently she wore a white dress with black spots from Topshop to a tour of the Harry Potter studios (pictured). The dress sold out within an hour.

She is not the only one with this power to sell. Holly Willoughby caused a rush for a dress from Peacocks in March 2010 after wearing it on This Morning, and Kate Moss drove massive demand for a Primark cape in 2011 after wearing it to the Isle of Wight Festival.

Perhaps the most famous face with the power to sell is Delia Smith. She isn't noted for her fashion credentials, but has the power to sell pans by the lorryload just through a simple recommendation.

Smith has cashed in on this ability, with a number of endorsements and a range of cookery products. The question is whether Middleton would ever dabble in her own range, or whether she has her hands a bit full at the moment expanding the royal family.

The richest self-made Brits
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Duchess of Cambridge causes a run on a £17.50 dress

The Monaco-based billionaire is said to be worth more than £4.2bn, with Topshop and Topman among the country's most successful brands. His first job, aged 12, was working for a shoe importer. He set up his first business at 15 with a £20,000 loan, on-selling imported jeans from the Far East to London-based retailers.

Branson's first successful business venture came in 1976 when he set up Student magazine aged just 16. In 1970, he founded a mail-order record retailer and within a year had opened his first shop on London's Oxford Street – Virgin Records. His fortune is estimated at £3.085 billion, according to the Sunday Times rich list.

The inventor gave his name to the household vacuum cleaner that would make him a fortune of £1.45 billion. James Dyson first reinvented the vacuum cleaner with the launch of his dual cyclone bagless 'G-Force' cleaner in 1983, followed more recently by the hand dryer and the fan. In 1997, Dyson was awarded the Prince Phillip Designers Prize, and elected a Fellow of The Royal Academy of Engineering in 2005.

Founder of Specsavers, Bristol-born Dame Mary Perkins is Britain's first female self-made billionaire, reportedly worth £1.15 billion. The 67-year-old and her husband Douglas, 68, founded the eye-care company in 1984 and they can now boast more than 900 stores across Britain. Perkins was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2007 as recognition for her work.

Recently retired Beckham is the highest earner in British sport, according to the Sunday Times Sport Rich List. 'Brand Beckham' that has seen the 38-year-old amass a fortune of £165 million from endorsement deals and salary payments from his company, Footwork Productions, over the last decade. But Beckham is still some way off the richest sportsman in the world - golfer Tiger Woods, who is worth a staggering £570m.

Yorkshire Tory peer Lord Kirkham entered the billionaire league in 2010 when he sold his furniture company, DFS, for a reported £500m. In 41 years, Kirkham grew the brand, which started on the outskirts of Doncaster, to 79 stores, three factories and more than 2,600 staff. He received a Knighthood in 1995, a Peerage in 1999 and a CVO in 2005. He now owns a large share in Iceland supermarkets and is worth a reported £1.1billion.

The former Beatle takes the top spot in the Sunday Times Rich List of musical millionaires, sharing a £680 million fortune with his wife Nancy Shevell. McCartney has topped the list of wealthy musicians every year since it was formed 1989 when his fortune was estimated at £80 million.

The chairman of Carphone Warehouse and Talk Talk, Essex-born Dunstone, 46, started his retail empire selling mobile phones from his west London flat in 1989. His fortune rose by £396 million to £1 billion in a year, after the demerger of Carphone Warehouse and Talk Talk. Carphone Warehouse is Europe's largest independent mobile phone retailer and Dunstone was awarded a Knighthood in 2012 for services to the mobile communications industry.

Author of the hugely successful Harry Potter series, Joanne Kathleen Rowling, has a net worth of £560 million – making her the world's richest author. Rowling wrote the first Potter books on a manual typewriter while a single mother living on benefits. The manuscript for the first Harry Potter novel was rejected by 12 publishers and when finally accepted, Rowling received an advance of just £1,500. Harry Potter is the highest-grossing film series of all-time and the brand has been estimated to be worth as much as £10 billion.

East-ender Lord Sugar, best known for his no-nonsense judging on BBC1s The Apprentice, started his career at 16, selling car aerials and electrical goods out of a van he had bought with savings of £50. In 1968 at the age of 21, Sugar started home electronics company, Amstrad (short for Alan Michael Sugar Trading). By the age of 40 he was worth about £600m. Sir Alan sold Amstrad in 2007, and is now worth a reported £770m, with much of his wealth coming from his extensive property empire.


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