Meghan Markle’s Friend, Designer Misha Nonoo, Talks Collaborating With the Duchess (Exclusive)

It’s one thing to design a clothing collection; it’s another to have a member of the royal family helping you with the process! Designer Misha Nonoo recently had that experience when her longtime friend-turned-duchess, Meghan Markle, approached her about helping with her Smart Works capsule collection. 

The Duchess of Sussex recently debuted the collection, which includes pieces from a variety of different designers and brands to create a professional line of clothing to help women interviewing to join the workforce. 

“The Duchess of Sussex asked me, knowing what I did and the fact that, you know, my whole ethos kind of circles around this idea of eliminating waste, capsule wardrobes, dressing women to be their best selves from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.,” Nonoo tells ET’s Rachel Smith. “And when I found out really what Smart Works did — and their work is incredible, the way that they help women get back into the workforce by dressing them and then helping coach them through interview processes and things like that — I was sold on the idea.”

Meghan Markle and Misha Nonoo
Andrew Toth/Getty Images

So, what is Prince Harry’s wife like as a collaborator?

“It was a pretty incredible process in the sense that the Duchess asked me to create this shirt and then was very respectful and understanding that this is what I do and kind of trusted that when I came to her with the final design, it would probably be the right thing,” Nonoo explains. “So we had a couple conversations about what it should look like, what she was thinking, and then she let me take it from there.”

Nonoo also says Markle’s work to “empower women” is “fairly incredible.”

“In this past month, actually, we’ve dressed our 200th client, which is really exciting. So it’s been hugely successful, it’s been hugely effective,” she says of the Smart Works collection. 

The designer’s white husband shirt also took on “a life of its own,” as she put it, especially after Markle wore the style to the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada, with Harry.

“It was obviously very exciting and she looks so beautiful,” Nonoo said of the 38-year-old royal wearing her style. “The way it transpired now is that we do husband shirt in all these different colors and the white shirt has always been the backbone of the collection. From when I launched it — and now seeing that white shirt take on a life of its own — people come in and they buy it in navy, they buy it in black…”

Meghan Markle Prince Harry Invictus 2017
Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage

Nonoo’s pop-up store in New York City is open until Dec. 31. 

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