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On Tuesday, Meghan Markle stepped out with her husband, Prince Harry, for the couple’s first official joint visit to Sussex wearing a sophisticated dark green ensemble, with one accessory standing out from the rest: a tiny emerald satin handbag.
Designed by Gabriela Hearst and priced at $1,995, the bag is not easy on the wallet, but its gorgeous emerald shade and petite structure has made it one of the most desirable bags among Hollywood’s elite, earning fans like Oprah Winfrey, Mandy Moore, Glenn Close, Diane Lane, Gabrielle Union, Lady Gaga, Brie Larson, and now Markle. But how exactly did Hearst’s bag end up on the arm of the Duchess of Sussex?
In fall 2015, Hearst first established her eponymous label. She is currently based in New York but was born in Uruguay, where she grew up on her family’s ranch, surrounded by cattle and sheep. This is where Hearst gained an appreciation for her family’s heritage and learned to respect slow processes and, in turn, slow design. It is also the place that inspired Hearst’s prominent use of organic merino wool, which her family’s ranch produces, in her collections.
Hearst has been described as a “woman’s designer” by the CFDA. She has a remarkable sense of what women want to wear and how they want to feel in clothing. Hearst’s designs are made with the highest craftsmanship using the finest material. Her tailored suits, graphic maxi dresses, midi skirts, and cozy knits make women feel confident, beautiful, and comfortable. It’s no surprise, then, that some of Hearst’s biggest fans include equally strong, confident women like Oprah Winfrey and Meghan Markle.
The designer’s first major breakout was when she launched her Nina bag in 2016, named after artist and activist Nina Simone. The bag was originally available only by email, rather than being sold online. “I did a limited edition of 20 bags. I didn’t do it for commerce; I just wanted to launch it,” she told Vogue. “And I gave them to friends of mine and to women I work with.” The strategy turned out be a big success. The bag quickly accumulated a waitlist of 100 people that grew to more than 1,500 people in 2017.
Compared with the smaller Demi bag that Meghan carried, the Nina bag is the full-sized original. Now, in 2018, Hearst has expanded her label to include 16 different bag styles, an entire ready-to-wear collection, and a full-fledged e-commerce website. Her rise to success was reaffirmed by the fashion industry when she won the 2016 International Woolmark Prize, and in 2018 she received a prestigious nomination from the CFDA for Womenswear Designer of the Year.
If you love Meghan Markle’s Gabriela Hearst Demi satin bag, you’re in luck. For two weeks only, you can purchase the bag on net-a-porter.com. However, if you, like many of us, can’t afford the extravagant $1,995 price, we rounded up 13 similar pint-sized ladylike bags to satisfy your fashion appetite. Click ahead to shop them now.
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