Haven't we seen that before Banana Republic tries to harness Duchess effect with lookalike of Kate's sellout Reiss dress
When the Duchess of Cambridge wore a Reiss dress to meet Barack and Michelle Obama last May, it sold out within hours.
Now it appears Banana Republic is attempting to cash in on its success by selling a similar design that pays tribute to her style.
Called the 'Kate Sheath', the new dress, while not nearly as well-cut and flattering, bears many of the same hallmarks of the Reiss original.
The Kate effect: A Reiss dress that sold out across the globe after it was worn by the Duchess of Cambridge last May (left) has inspired a Banana Republic tribute (right)
Not only is the colour similar, but it shares the same cap sleeves, square neckline, vertical seams at the bust, and a high waistline defined by a ruched panel of fabric.
The only major difference, in fact, is the price tag: the Banana Republic version costs just $130, a fraction of the cost of the $340 Reiss one.
The price is even more of a bargain given that the Reiss dress is no longer available in stores and one can sell for up to $500 on eBay.
Catherine sparked unprecedented demand for the Shola dress when she was pictured wearing it at Buckingham Palace last May.
Bargain: The Banana Republic dress is retailing for just $130 (left), while versions of the Duchess's Reiss dress, which is no longer available in stores, go for up to $500 on eBay (right)
Moments after the images were made public, savvy shoppers had snapped up every one from Reiss stores and online.
Demand on the retailer's website was so great that the site crashed as thousands logged on simultaneously to buy their own.
At the peak of the demand, the dresses were being sold at a rate of one a minute, both in the UK and in the U.S.
One might ask why Reiss didn't make sure they had enough stock to meet demand, given the Duchess's fashion Midas touch.
High-profile occasion: The Duchess of Cambridge wore the $340 dress at Buckingham Palace to join her husband, Prince William, for a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle
But the store admitted that it had no idea she had been planning to wear the dress.
A spokesman revealed: 'We had no idea she was going to wear it. We didn't send Kate the dress.
'Kate's been a loyal customer to us for years. She wore a Reiss dress for her engagement photos and has the Olivia – a white coat with black buttons,' they continued.
'But no one had seen her come in to buy the dress. She might have bought it a while ago when it first came out at the beginning of the season. We were all very excited.'