Over the weekend it was announced Meghan has parted ways with Canadian fashion store Reitmans. Apparently she was offered a lucrative sum to renew her contract as brand ambassador but decided not to continue the partnership. The store continued to use her image to promote their collections and last month her team asked the company to stop using her image and name. A source told the Mail Online: "The promotion in 2017 was done by Reitmans outside of the deal. Once they realised they did not have the right to use her in promotion and sale, they took it down." Although we're only hearing about it now, the decision was clearly made several months ago and in addition to Meghan's decision to close her blog the Tig and considerably reduce her visibility on social media, I think it's safe to say her relationship with Harry (and her care for the relationship and its future) have been deciding factors in all these choices. We're seeing Meghan withdraw from business associations and high-profile partnerships and, apart from her filming commitments with Suits until the autumn, she's been keeping a very low profile.
Meghan's partnership with Reitmans provided one of the first sets of images I saw of her when it was announced she was seeing Harry. Meghan was reportedly approached by the brand in late 2015 when she was asked to be the brand ambassador for their Fall/Winter 2015 Collection.
According to Yahoo, Meghan said the following about teaming up with the brand:
"I'm so excited to be part of this re-energizing of Reitmans, and to be the face of a brand. I'm often asked what I wear both on and off camera, and the answer is that it's a blend of a few luxury items mixed with classic and trend driven pieces that don't break the bank. Reitmans is perfect for affordable & chic pieces that I absolutely love. Also, though I'm from LA, with this being my fifth year filming in Canada, I feel like an honorary Canadian, and have really come to call this home; it feels incredibly special to be embraced by a family-owned Canadian company, especially during such an exciting time for the brand. This is just the beginning of what we have in store, and I can't wait to share it with you."
Meghan was asked to design a spring collection of four capsule dresses for the brand and said each dress represented "a different vibe". "A lot of work went into creating these pieces and I think that's what's been most exciting for me is the education of how you get something from sketch to a hanger." There's a nice behind-the-scenes video available.
The dresses retailed for under $100. The white 'Terrace' dress was described as "edgy" with an asymmetrical hem perfect for cocktail parties. The pretty 'Date Night' dress is a vibrant, flirty piece while the 'Sunset' dress is an elegant maxi dress, perfect for summer. Finally, the 'Soireé' is Meghan's take on classic LBD with on-trend shoulder cut out detail.
Last autumn, Meghan launched her second collection with wearable pieces including work wear and office style in mind (a la her Suits character Rachel Zane). All items were priced at under $70. When Meghan was asked if the affordability element was important to her she said: "I didn’t come from a world where I had access to pieces that were incredibly high-quality and expensive. Rachel Zane’s wardrobe was a dream wardrobe for me, and it still is. Having pieces like that in my closet are pieces I have really, really worked hard for. That’s not how I have lived my life. So, for me, it has always been about high-low. The other day, I put a picture up on Instagram and everyone said, ‘Oh my God, what are you wearing?’ And, okay, yes, it was a Celine bag, but it was paired with my Reitmans pants, Forever 21 sunglasses, and a scarf from Zara. It is a hodge-podge because that’s how we live our lives."
The collection included vegan leather pants, a chic cashmere blend poncho, a faux leather skirt, a bodysuit and an oversized blouse. Speaking about her involvement with the design process Meghan said: "I’m super involved with the design process, and I’m sure that it drives them crazy. But how could I not? It has my name on it. ... I’ve been really grateful to work with Reitmans and have them be patient with me on knowing the craftsmanship I am after and the price point we are both after. And we have been able to come up with an amazing marriage of those two things."
One of Meghan's adverts for the brand (this one is cute!).
It's obvious this was an important collection for Meghan and I imagine giving it up wasn't a decision taken lightly.
We have been very much hoping Meghan will accompany Harry to Pippa Middleton and James Matthews' wedding on Saturday, 20 May. There have been many reports on this in recent weeks all telling the same story... It's not going to happen. Today, Hello! writes they have obtained an exclusive - Meghan has asked for the week of 15-22 May off to travel to England to attend the wedding with Harry.
More from the article:
'Meghan Markle has requested time off from her hit TV show Suits in May, leaving her free to join him at Pippa Middleton's wedding, HELLO! can exclusively reveal. The American actress wants to take a week off between 15 and 22 May, which would allow her plenty of time to travel to the UK for the hotly-anticipated nuptials in Berkshire on 20 May.
It would not be the first wedding the couple has attended together; Meghan jetted to Jamaica to join Harry at the wedding of his best friend Tom Inskip and Lara Hughes-Young in March, where they enjoyed a stay at the lavish Round Hill Hotel and Villas resort on Montego Bay.'
'A source tells PEOPLE that while Markle, 35, will not be on hand for the ceremony at St. Mark’s church in Engelfield, England, on May 20, she will be by Harry’s side when they attend the evening party after the nuptials. The source adds that protocol prohibits unmarried and un-engaged partners to attend the event, but they are more likely to attend the big bash afterwards, which tends to be less formal.
The fact that she will attend the wedding — even if it’s the post-church nighttime bash — is yet another sign that the Suits actress and the prince, 32, are getting more and more serious.'
If you haven't yet heard you should listen to Prince Harry's incredibly honest interview with the Telegraph's Bryony Gordon in which he bravely discusses the 'years of total chaos' he endured over the loss of his mother. Harry talks about seeking counselling at the age of 28, how sport has helped him, and his passion for the Heads Together initiative. He also discusses how he's finally in a good place to take his private life seriously and how much he would love to have kids. This is a major moment for mental health, and Harry's courage could inspire so many.
Click here to listen if you haven't already. It's about half an hour long; if you can spare the time I would highly recommend listening.