Kate-flation: How the price tags on the Duchess of Cambridge’s most iconic pieces are rocketing (and shoppers are paying the price)



10:41 GMT, 2 July 2012

Anything the Duchess of Cambridge wears flies off the shelves. The young royal has been credited with boosting the British economy by a staggering 1billion – and there are entire websites devoted to her style.

But now it seems ‘the Kate Effect’ is making real waves in the world of fashion, causing what is being dubbed ‘Kate-flation’.

There they are again! Kate wore the sledge shoes for her appearance on the Jubilee flotilla

The Duchess of Cambridge wore her favourite LK Bennett sledge shoes for the Buckingham Palace Garden Party earlier in the summer

The Duchess of Cambridge wore her favourite LK Bennett sledge shoes for the Jubilee flotilla, right, and a Buckingham Palace garden party. She paired the shoes with the Natalia clutch, also by LK Bennett

The LK Bennett 'Sledge' shoe has crept up in price from 175 to 195 since Kate first wore it

LK Bennett 'Natalie' Clutch has gone up from 140 to 160 since Kate first carried it

LK Bennett 'Sledge' court shoe – Kate-flated from 175 to 195, left. 'Natalie' clutch bag, increased to 160

Several of the pieces the princess in waiting has worn seem to have risen in price since they first made their debut in the duchess's wardrobe.

Her beloved LK Bennett ‘Sledge’ shoe has gone up by 20 (from 175 to 195) since she first wore them 18 months ago.

The ‘Natalie’ clutch from the same High Street Store is also up 20 (to 160), and the blue Issa wrap dress made famous when she wore it for the announcement of her engagement in November 2011 has since risen by an astonishing 110 (from 385 to 495).

Kate Middleton in the Issa dress she wore for the announcement of her engagement

The Issa wrap dress has risen in price from 385 to 495

November 16, 2010: The bride-to-be with William on the day they announced their engagement. left. Right, the Issa wrap dress she wore, now on sale for 495

Whereas it was noted the UK inflation rate for food and clothing rose by 3.5 per cent earlier this year, items with the Middleton stamp of approval have gone up by anything from a startling 12 per cent to an eye-watering 28 per cent.

So what’s behind this Kate-flation Spokespeople for LK Bennett say their price rises are anything but a cynical way to exploit shoppers eager to recreate the Duchess’s stylish look.

Instead, they claim that rising costs have forced them to put up the prices of certain key items in their collections.

Soaring costs or not, one thing is certain: it will be the shoppers who are the real victims of Kate-flation.