The favorite clothing designer of Duchess Kate Middleton, wife of Prince William of England, built her success on the purchase of a Hasidic boy’s coat in a second hand store in Israel.

Katherine Hooker visited Israel a decade ago, and fell in love with a long black Hasidic kapote in a second hand store, according to the designer.  Soon after, she found a tailor in India who agreed to make her a copy.  When her friends became enamored of the garment, she made several duplicates, ultimately opening her own shop in London in 2004.  Some of her items sell for almost $2,000.

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Middleton has become a fashion icon since her highly-publicized engagement and wedding to Prince William. She is particularly liked in the religious Jewish community, because of her tendency toward non-revealing attire.

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