first_imgMrs Hieatt said: “We have less than 20 people so we’ve got a bit of a way to go before we reach 400, but from starting the business six years ago we’re thrilled to have made such an impact. And to be recognised like this is a great feeling for everyone.”She added that as the recognition of the brand has rocketed in the last few years the business has been flooded with offers to collaborate.“We’ve had a lot of offers to work with other brands – but we want to stay as working directly to and for customers,” said Mrs Hieatt. “Our goal is to keep making jeans to sell directly to our consumers.”The jean manufacturer isn’t the only Welsh brand to be boosted by Ms Markle. Cardiff’s Village Bakery has been flooded with enquiries from the US after she raved about their Welsh griddle cakes during last week’s visit..And sales of a black £45 M&S wool blend round neck bell sleeve jumper went through the roof after Ms Markle wore one during her visit to Brixton earlier this month.Whist Ms Markle may be the first in the royal family to champion Hiut Denim, the brand is no stranger to celebrity endorsements. The Arctic Monkeys and the two-Michelin starred Danish chef René Redzeppi have been spotted wearing its jeans. Clare Hieatt, who founded the firm with her husband David, told The Telegraph: “We’ve definitely seen a spike in orders since Meghan wore the jeans, we can’t make the jeans fast enough.“It was a nice surprise for us and a great boost to the employees to see her in them. We’re currently recruiting more staff to try and get as many jeans out there as possible.”For decades the rural Welsh town of Cardigan, which has only 4,000 inhabitants, was a hub of textile manufacturing – with Dewhirst making 35,000 jeans a week for Marks and Spencer’s.But in 2002 the firm moved its production operation to Morocco where costs were lower, and overnight Cardigan’s denim trade ceased to exist and 400 skilled workers were laid off.The Hieatts opened Hiut Denim six years ago with the dream of bringing the once thriving denim industry back to Cardigan.Little did they anticipate they would have a royal boom on their hands.Mr and Mrs Hieatt’s decision to base Hiut Denim in the town had already led to a small revival in clothes manufacturing, with their plant employing 18 local people as skilled machinists and cutters. Now the couple are hoping to take on more staff. Meghan Markle wearing the Huit Denim jeans during a walkabout in CardiffCredit:Karwai Tang Mr and Mrs Hieatt, who launched Hiut Denim in 2011, had previously owned the denim and sportswear brand Howies, before selling it to footwear giant Timberland in 2006. Mr Hieatt, 47, quit his A-levels to set up his own sportswear brand, via a stall at Pontypridd market. He later moved to London to become an advertising copywriter, working for Saatchi & Saatchi.Each pair of Hiut Denim  jeans takes one hour and ten minutes to make – compared to a fraction of the time employed in making cheaper brands – and can cost between £130 to £230, depending on the style.But the royal seal of approval hasn’t always led to similar success.The designer of the Duchess of Cambridge’s engagement dress, Issa, went bankrupt after Camilla Al-Fayed, daughter of former Harrods owner Mohamed, bought a 51 per cent state in the business 2011 to help with expansion. Hiut Denim jeans, as worn by Meghan Markle From cult denim jeans to hand stitched handbags Meghan Markle is fast becoming a champion of British craftsmanship; a woman whose global popularity can transform the fortunes of local products.When she wore a pair of black Huit Denim jeans on her visit to Cardiff last week it put the small Welsh firm on the map.It was the same when Prince Harry’s fiance sported a burgundy and navy tote bag by the Scottish label Strathberry during her first official engagement with Prince Harry, in Nottingham last month. Within minutes the handbag had sold out and Strathberry, based in Edinburgh, increased production.Ms Markle’s appearance in a pair of organic cotton Huit Denim jeans during a walkabout in Cardiff has led to an  influx of orders, with the brand’s founders admitting they can’t make their jeans fast enough. Hiut Denim jeans, as worn by Meghan Markle Clare and David Hieatt, founders of Hiut Denim  Clare and David Hieatt, founders of Hiut Denim  Meghan Markle wearing the Huit Denim jeans during a walkabout in Cardiff Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img