He’s a designer loved by both Kate Middleton, the new Princess of Wales, and Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, but the man behind the eponymous fashion label Erdem is a relatively little-known figure outside of the fashion world.
Erdem Moralioglu was born in Montreal in 1977 and studied at Ryerson University before moving to London to study at the Royal College of Art in 2001. The designer interned with Vivienne Westwood before spending a period working with Diane von Furstenberg in New York City.
In 2005, Moralioglu founded Erdem, which is based in London and draws heavily on block printing and patterns and designs found in nature.
Kate began wearing Erdem designs shortly after her 2011 marriage to Prince William and became a prolific client, most notably wearing the brand’s evening wear designs.
Meghan was a fan of Erdem’s pieces before her 2018 marriage to Prince Harry, often wearing the label’s earth-tone day wear pieces. The duchess wore an elegant custom Erdem outfit to celebrate the Commonwealth while expecting her first child, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.
Here, Newsweek looks at some of the two royals’ best Erdem fashion moments.
Kate at 100 Women In Hedge Funds Gala, 2015
An early piece of Erdem evening wear worn by Kate debuted at the 100 Women in Hedge Funds gala dinner hosted at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum in 2015.
The sleeveless design in bold blue-and-red printed silk, with white and green accents, featured a floral motif with a ruffled lower skirt panel.
At the time of the event, the dress was on sale as part of Erdem’s ready-to-wear collection and cost $3,261.
Kate in Sweden, January 2018
During a visit to Norway and Sweden in 2018 while expecting her third child, Prince Louis, Kate wore two striking evening gowns by Erdem.
For an official dinner at the British ambassador’s residence in Sweden, attended by Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and her husband, Prince Daniel, Kate wore a high-necked evening dress with long sleeves and ruffle details.
The gold silk design featured a classic Erdem floral motif in blues and pinks. Part of the designer’s Autumn/Winter 2017 collection, it was priced at $2,595.
Kate at Buckingham Palace, February 2018
To wear at a special Commonwealth fashion reception at Buckingham Palace on February 19, 2018, Kate opted for another Erdem design, this time in monochrome with a floral lace overlay.
The calf-length design with elbow-length sleeves appeared to have been a lengthened version of the label’s Suzi Guipure lace dress, priced at $2,975.
During the event, Kate met with fashion industry heavyweights such as Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour and British Fashion Council Chief Executive Caroline Rush.
Kate at Victoria and Albert Museum, October 2018
One of Kate’s more subtle Erdem looks was first worn during a visit to the photography galleries at the Victoria and Albert Museum on October 10, 2018.
The asymmetric slip shoulder tweed design featured the Prince of Wales check pattern. (At the time, her father-in-law, now King Charles, was Prince of Wales.) When Queen Elizabeth II died this past September, one of Charles’ first acts as monarch was to make Prince William the new Prince of Wales. Kate thus became the Princess of Wales.
The belted design with jeweled buttons formed part of Erdem’s Spring 2018 collection and was known as the Iman dress.
Meghan at Canada House, March 2019
Though a fan of Erdem designs for many years before her marriage, Megan appears not to have worn the label often for public events after marrying Harry. One important exception to this was in March 2019, at an event supporting the Commonwealth Youth Program, while she was expecting her first child, Archie.
The green tweed empire line dress and overcoat design with black embroidered floral motif was worn to the event at Canada House in London. It was a custom interpretation of a design featured in Erdem’s Autumn/Winter 2019 collection.
The design drew aesthetic comparisons to an ensemble worn by Princess Diana while she was expecting Prince William in 1981.
Kate at Chelsea Flower Show, May 2019
One of Kate’s more recent Erdem fashion looks was worn to greet Queen Elizabeth at the Chelsea Flower Show, where Kate had co-designed a garden focused on early childhood development.
The royal wore an altered version of one of Erdem’s most popular designs, the Sheba floral silk-cotton gown.
The dress featured one of the brand’s signature floral prints, which included the forget-me-knot flower, known to have been Diana‘s favorite.
Meghan at Festival of Remembrance, November 2019
Another of Meghan’s most striking Erdem fashion looks was seen at the Festival of Remembrance performance at London’s Royal Albert Hall on November 9, 2019.
The duchess wore Erdem’s Merril dress in black jacquard, with an exaggerated open neckline inspired by the designs of the 1950s.
James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek‘s royal reporter based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek‘s The Royals Facebook page.
Do you have a question about King Charles III, William and Kate, Meghan and Harry, or their family that you would like our experienced royal correspondents to answer? Email [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you.
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