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Royal wedding cements Canadian Jessica Mulroney’s place as a savvy social media influencer , Jessica Mulroney arrives at the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on Saturday, May 19, 2018.Chris Jackson/pool via AP

May 22nd, 2018 | by Richard Paul
Royal wedding cements Canadian Jessica Mulroney’s place as a savvy social media influencer , Jessica Mulroney arrives at the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on Saturday, May 19, 2018.Chris Jackson/pool via AP
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Royal wedding cements Canadian Jessica Mulroney’s place as a savvy social media influencer

Once best known for marrying the son of former PM Brian Mulroney, she could soon have people associating the Mulroney name more with fashion than politics

Jessica Mulroney arrives at the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on Saturday, May 19, 2018.Chris Jackson/pool via AP

It was time for Jessica Mulroney and husband Ben to head off to the evening reception for the newlywed Duke and Duchess of Sussex Saturday, but there was one last thing.

Descending a staircase, Mulroney glanced over her shoulder to pose for a photo by her stylist, ensuring that the image of her in her gold dress and elaborate makeup would soon make it onto Instagram.

Mulroney was at the royal wedding as a close friend of bride Meghan Markle, earning a choice front-row seat at the ceremony, but the attention she has attracted is sure to cement her place as one of Canada’s savviest social media influencers.

Tabloids wrote of her “Pippa moment” as she walked up the steps to the chapel in a form-fitting royal blue dress by Montreal-based designer Di Carlo Couture, a reference to the scene-stealing stir caused by Pippa Middleton when her sister Kate married Prince William in 2011. The Daily Mail even quoted “royal and etiquette expert” William Hanson tut-tutting that Mulroney should have taken more care not to upstage the bride; “It is every guest’s duty to look good but not too good,” Hanson said.


Mulroney’s friend, Amoryn Engel, who writes a society column for the National Post, said Mulroney’s turn at the royal wedding — which included caring for her two young sons and daughter who were part of the wedding party — will solidify her juggernaut status. Within hours of the wedding, Birks put out a news release noting both Mulroney and Markle’s mother Doria Ragland wore Birks jewelry and Di Carlo Couture issued a release about Mulroney’s “stunning” dress.

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“She was such a huge hit that I’d say the world is her oyster,” Engel said. “She’s not out there soliciting new work, new brands. People are coming to her.”

Once best known for marrying the son of former prime minister Brian Mulroney, Jessica Mulroney is eclipsing her TV-host husband and could soon have people associating the Mulroney name more with fashion and lifestyle than politics. She stands out for her keen understanding of how a measure of celebrity can be transformed into a social media gold mine.

Hudson’s Bay Co. called Mulroney “the lifestyle expert to watch” as it announced an expanded partnership with her on May 10. Her fashion industry experience “combined with her charismatic personality has made her one of Canada’s most sought-after fashion experts,” it said.

Antoinette Di Carlo, designer and creative director of Di Carlo Couture, praised the incredible impact of having Mulroney wear one of her designs.

“‎We have seen increased brand awareness for Di Carlo Couture and a spike in traffic on the website and social channels. Being associated with Jessica brings celebrity status to my brand,” she said in an emailed statement.

Jessica Mulroney’s “Pippa moment,” as she (in blue) and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, walk with children taking part in Prince Harry’s and Meghan Markle’s wedding on May 19. Jane Barlow/pool via AP

Born Jessica Brownstein, Mulroney, 38, is a Montreal native who credits her interest in fashion to growing up in the family that founded the city’s Brown’s shoes empire. She moved to Toronto after marrying Mulroney in 2008.

While the Mulroney name gave her immediate entry into high-society circles, she marshaled social media to carve out a brand as a successful working mother, sharing everything from workout tips to just-so photos at home with her children.

With the burst of attention on the weekend, she is up to 197,000 followers on Instagram. In addition to the Bay, she has worked with Pampers, Birks, the Metro grocery chain and Sunwing on public relations and social-media strategies.

“Companies look to me to help them figure out how to create more engagement,” she told Fresh magazine last February. “I connect brands with brands. I connect them with celebrities and influencers.” She added: “Whether or not we want to admit it, building fashion brands is about celebrity culture.”

Until the royal wedding, Mulroney’s most successful tapping of celebrity power involved Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, the wife of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The couples are friends, and at a dinner before the 2015 federal election, Jessica Mulroney asked Grégoire Trudeau what she planned to wear if her husband won the election.

She had not given it much thought, and Mulroney offered to provide suggestions. She sent her a coat by the Canadian designer Sentaler, which became a big seller after Grégoire Trudeau wore it to the swearing-in ceremony. Her dress, by the Canadian designer Erdem, was also a Mulroney recommendation.

“When it created that buzz, Sophie and I realized, ‘Oh, we have something here.’ We wanted to start working together to create moments for independent Canadian designers,” Mulroney told Fresh.

Bojana Sentaler, designer and creative director of Sentaler, praised Mulroney’s eye for fashion and efforts to help homegrown talent. “Jessica has been incredibly influential in the Canadian fashion industry and her efforts have helped raise awareness for many Canadian brands,” she said.

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 07: Jessica Mulroney poses in the 2017 Canadian Arts And Fashion Awards Portrait Studio at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel on April 7, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by George Pimentel/Getty Images)

TORONTO, ON – APRIL 07: Jessica Mulroney poses in the 2017 Canadian Arts And Fashion Awards Portrait Studio at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel on April 7, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by George Pimentel/Getty Images)

Engel said Mulroney owes her success to hard work, and she will not try to cash in on her friendship with a duchess.

“She’ll probably be approached by many more people who want access to Meghan, but she doesn’t offer it. That’s not what she does. She’s very principled,” she said.

• Email: ghamilton@nationalpost.com | Twitter:

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