March 7, 2011 -- Last month, Kate Middleton arrived at St. Andrew's University in a striking red wool jacket and skirt for one of her first official appearances with her fiance, Prince William.
Many fashionistas were left scratching their heads trying to figure out who designed the future princess's outfit, but the Daily Mail reports that her scarlet ensemble was created by Italian designer Luisa Spagnoli.
The ready-to-wear label was founded in Perugia, Italy in 1928. Luisa Spagnoli calls itself a women-oriented business. Ninety percent of its employees are female.
This season's collection uses asymmetrical and symmetrical lines to enhance the female figure, and embody a freshness and charm that is suitable for both casual and formal occasions. There is speculation that Middleton will choose another Spagnoli design for one of the evening celebrations following the royal wedding on April 29.
Middleton is reported to have purchased the bright red skirt for around $260 and the jacket for $540, from Hollie de Keyser in London. Prince William's mother Diana often visited the boutique, when it was known as Emma Somerset.
"It is the oldest ready-to-wear brand in Europe," said Hollie de Keyser's husband Robert, who happens to be a fashion designer. "It has never exported to Britain before."
"Kate must be one of the first people to have worn the label in this country, which shows she has an eye for fashion," de Keyser said.
Kate Middleton's status as a fashion icon has skyrocketed since the announcement of her engagement to Prince William.
The blue jersey wrap dress, designed by Issa and worn by Middleton during the engagement announcement, along with the white Reiss dress worn in the official engagement portraits, have sold out worldwide.
Net-A-Porter, which specializes in luxury brands, is expected to receive a limited shipment of the blue Issa dress in mid-April. With hundreds of names on the waiting list, a spokesperson for Net-A-Porter said it expects the dress to sell out very quickly.