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Fashion watch for royal visit

Canada's fashion industry and those who watch it are abuzz ahead of a visit from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, speculating whether any Canadian brands stand to benefit from the "Kate effect."

The duchess has brought global attention to the clothing she wears, creating the market for brands like U.K.-based L.K. Bennett to open stores overseas, said Amanda Dishaw, Vancouver-based editor for the website What Would Kate Do?

A Canadian label in the duchess's wardrobe on the upcoming week-long tour of British Columbia and Yukon would bring great publicity to that brand, Dishaw said.

The public's fascination with the duchess extends not only from the fairy tale story of marrying into the Royal Family, but also her appearance of being approachable and authentic, said Noreen Flanagan, editor-in-chief of Fashion Magazine.

While she isn't known to be a trend-setter and has been criticized by some for not taking risks with her style, Flanagan said, she doesn't have to.

"What makes her unique and special is the fact that she just is who she is and I think that's a very inspiring message to women."

Susan Kelley, creator of the website What Kate Wore, said the duchess's popularity as a style icon also stems from the public seeing her as an alternative to celebrities who embrace more provocative and revealing fashion.

"You don't see her spilling out of her clothing," Kelley said. "She demonstrates that you can be very elegant and chic and sexy wearing more tailored and conservative styles."

Prince William and Kate will be visiting Canada from Sept. 24 to Oct. 1 making stops in Victoria, Vancouver, Bella Bella, Haida Gwaii and Kelowna, B.C., and Whitehorse and Carcross, Yukon.



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