Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have the #SussexSquad supporting their every move.
And Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, has her own squad — the #Replikates.
The self-named #Replikates are women around the world who search the Internet and vintage stores to copy Duchess Kate’s style.
One of them is Mallory Johnson Bowling, a 31-year-old lawyer who works for the federal government in Washington, D.C. Outside of her full-time job, Bowling has an Instagram account with nearly 13,000 followers on which she documents her Kate look-alike outfits.
“I’d been casually following Kate’s style since around the time she got engaged to Prince William,” Bowling said. “If I saw something she was wearing that I thought would be cute to integrate into my wardrobe, I’d try to find it.
“It turned into this really interesting hobby and a community of other people around the world who also follow her style,” she added.
Bowling started her Instagram account in 2017 and is now in a close-knit circle of around 25 #Replikates, women who live everywhere from Germany to Australia, the United Kingdom to the Netherlands.
The women are in a group text chat, a royal book club and took an online course together at a U.K. university about British royal history, Bowling said. A group of the women based on the East Coast also recently visited Delaware together to see a fashion exhibit based on “The Crown,” the Netflix show about the royals.
“Most of the ladies have full-time jobs or multiple kids and other responsibilities,” said Bowling. “I think we all keep it in perspective, that it’s something that’s just fun.”
Most important, the women help each other out when trying to source Kate’s clothes.
“Because we’re all different shapes and sizes, there’s not really a sense of competition. There’s enough for everyone,” Bowling said. “When someone scores something that’s pretty rare, it’s more a sense of the community being incredibly supportive and happy for the person.”
As the royal family has grown so has Bowling’s fashion. She also posts outfits copied from the looks of Duchess Meghan and Kate’s sister, Pippa Middleton Matthews.
Bowling sets a price limit for herself when shopping for the royals’ clothes and makes sure the items fit in with her own style.
“The item has to be $200 and under, but that’s a limit I try to not even give close to,” she said. “I make sure the pieces I buy fit well into my wardrobe and are things I can I wear for many years to come.
“A lot of the fashion choices Kate makes are not very trendy and my style is very classic so it’s a way to ride out the trends and have pieces in my closet have longevity.”
Bowling tries to get items worn by Kate at recent events but runs into the same problems as everyone else when the pieces sell out quickly. She also goes back to past looks of Kate’s that she loves and scours vintage shops and sites like eBay, Poshmark and even Etsy to find them.
‘There’s a Philosophy Di Lorenzo blue jacket that is a blue blazer with gold buttons,” she said of one of her favorite items. “That was one I call a unicorn, a super rare, hard-to-find piece, and I found it on a consignment website and I was completely shocked.”
So why choose to emulate Kate?
“I think that she’s an incredible role model of both substance and style,” Bowling said. “When she wears something accessible to the public it’s a chance for a normal person to wear a piece of sartorial history.”
Kate, a mom of three, is known for mixing high and low fashion and not being afraid to recycle her wardrobe.
#Replikates with children also search for clothes worn by Kate’s kids, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, Bowling added.
She said she has already kicked her husband out of their master closet to fit her royal looks, but doesn’t anticipate stopping her hobby anytime soon.
“I have a pretty serious day job, so this is an opportunity for me to express my sense of creativity and have something that’s on the side and very fun,” Bowling said. “When it becomes not a hobby and not fun, then I think that’s the point in time I’ll stop.”
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