The Meghan Markle Effect: How Strathberry Became a Household Name

Strathberry Review by Tanner Leatherstein

It’s been known for some time that when a royal dons a particular fashion brand, the world takes notice. Perhaps nobody has had quite the effect on contemporary fashion brands as Meghan Markle. Her ability to influence fashion trends is so notable it has been coined "The Meghan Effect." A prime example of this phenomenon is her appearance with a Strathberry bag back in 2017, which launched the Scottish brand into the limelight.

DISCLAIMER: This is an UNSPONSORED review. I purchased all of these products myself and am not affiliated with the brand mentioned in any way. All statements and expressions made about the products are solely the opinion of Tanner Leatherstein and are not meant to be conclusive or definitive. The purpose of this video is for informational and educational purposes only. We recommend that as a consumer, you exercise your due diligence and research on the products before adopting the opinion of Tanner Leatherstein.

NOTE:  Some of the links here are affiliate links. We might get a small commission when you choose to purchase the product through our link which will help to support our Leathertainment content and channel. But rest assured that everything written in this article is our independent review.

The Strathberry Journey

Strathberry, established in 2013 by the husband-and-wife team of Guy and Leeanne Hundleby, is an Edinburgh-based luxury leather goods brand renowned internationally.

Characterized by its elegant, understated lines and meticulous attention to detail, the Strathberry aesthetic embodies minimalism and contemporary style. The iconic bar closure featured on each handbag adds a distinctive touch, making Strathberry instantly recognizable.

The brand's name, Strathberry, pays homage to its Scottish origins, deriving from the word "Strath," which means a wide river valley in Scots. This nod to Scottish heritage is further enriched by the historical use of berries for dyeing traditional Scottish fabrics and materials.

Guy and Leeanne drew inspiration from their travels in Spain, where they connected with skilled artisans boasting generations of leathercraft expertise. Maintaining close collaboration with these workshops, the brand proudly supports the local industry and showcases its craftsmanship on the global stage.

While residing in the mountain regions of Southern Spain, the couple encountered picturesque villages inhabited by generations of leather artisans. Captivated by the exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail, they forged friendships with these artisans, inspiring the creation of a luxury brand that prioritizes both beauty and functionality at an honest and accessible price point.

The Royal Endorsement

In December 2017, during her first public engagement in Nottingham with Prince Harry, Meghan Markle stepped out carrying an elegant burgundy Strathberry midi tote. Within hours, the bag sold out worldwide and thus began the story of a small Edinburgh-based label rising to international fame.

Strathberry was a relatively unknown brand outside of the fashion insider circles until Meghan's endorsement. The royal endorsement didn't just cause a surge in sales; it sparked intense media coverage and put Strathberry on the map as a luxury handbag maker.

Following Meghan Markle's public outings with Strathberry bags, the brand experienced exponential growth. Their Instagram followers skyrocketed, online searches surged, and sales figures grew exponentially. The impact of Meghan's choice of handbags was undeniably transformative for Strathberry.

Elegance, Craftsmanship, and Luxury

Strathberry's bag stands out as one of the most exquisite nano bags. The leather boasts a protective finish that allows appreciation of its diverse grain patterns and a tactile experience. The vibe of the leather reminds me of the leather choices I've seen from the lower-weight dissection. The design exudes a contemporary and immaculate aesthetic. The execution of the bag is flawless, with the brand proudly disclosing its production origin in Ubrique.

In all honesty, cutting a bag of this caliber is a poignant experience for the examiner. Stripping away the finish from the calfskin reveals an anticipated minimal pigment layer on the surface. This deliberate omission covers only part of the grain structure, enabling an exploration of the varying patterns by touch. The slight tumbling in the finish provides ample protection against water and scratches, rendering it an ideal choice for a fashion piece of this nature.

Cost Versus Luxury

In assessing the production cost of this bag, I estimate that three square feet of leather, totaling around $25, is sufficient for crafting a bag of this size. The assembly is a harmonious blend of exquisite craftsmanship and high-quality hardware. Despite its modest dimensions, my comprehensive estimate, inclusive of the hardware, amounts to $90, bringing the total projected cost for this bag to $115.

Upon closer examination, it becomes evident that every aspect of this bag, from the leather quality and design to craftsmanship, internal materials, and packaging, mirrors the standards set by top luxury brands previously reviewed. Remarkably, it shares its manufacturing origin with renowned luxury brands in the leatherworking town of Spain. What truly distinguishes this bag is its remarkably accessible price of $495.

In my view, a bag of comparable caliber from a leading luxury leather brand could easily be priced three to six times higher. This realization reinforced my initial intuition when I began dissecting luxury bags – that quality leather, design, and craftsmanship can be attainable without breaking the bank. These brands exemplify that for those seeking superior leather products with exceptional design and craftsmanship, there are alternatives that offer value without exorbitant price tags.

Beyond the Royal Seal of Approval

While royal endorsements undoubtedly play a significant role, Strathberry's success wasn't solely dependent on Meghan's patronage. The brand's commitment to quality and unique designs resonated with a broader audience looking for timeless pieces that marry luxury with practicality.

Strathberry goes beyond the confines of celebrity endorsements, carving a niche in the hearts of a diverse audience seeking more than fleeting trends. The brand's dedication to producing high-quality, enduring pieces resonates with a broader demographic that values timeless elegance and functionality. 


In the realm of fashion, the influence of royalty is undeniable, and the Meghan Markle Effect has proven to be a potent force in shaping the narrative of luxury brands. Strathberry's meteoric rise from a modest Edinburgh-based label to a household name is a testament to the transformative power of a royal endorsement.

The journey embarked upon by Strathberry, woven with threads of elegance, craftsmanship, and opulent luxury, extends far beyond the initial wave of recognition sparked by Meghan Markle's public endorsement. 


About us. (n.d.). Strathberry.

Conlon, S. (2021, March 8). The Meghan effect: how the Duchess of Sussex can double a brand’s turnover. The Guardian.

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