Meghan Markle Takes the Stage at SXSW in Chic Business Casual Separates

She joined an International Women's Day panel to discuss representation in media.

Meghan Markle smiles onstage at SXSW for an international womens day panel
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Meghan Markle is spending International Women's Day inspiring an audience with her dedication to equal, honest gender representation in media. At the same time, she's making another entry in her catalog of memorable business casual outfits.

On Friday, March 8, the Duchess of Sussex arrived at South By Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, dressed to shine onstage while participating in the festival's keynote panel, "Breaking Barriers, Shaping Narratives: How Women Lead On and Off the Screen." Prince Harry reportedly sat in the front row to watch her speak.

Meghan Markle walks onstage at SXSW

Meghan Markle walked onstage in a flowing satin skirt and a tucked-in button-up shirt.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The philanthropist walked onstage in monochromatic business casual separates: a subtly striped button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up to her elbows and coordinating maxi skirt. Both pieces were courtesy of Giuliva Heritage, an Italian label helmed by a wife-and-husband duo. Matching pointed-toe mules by Valentino peeked out from beneath her skirt. (File under: casual-cool work outfit inspiration.)

Markle played up the creamy tones of her clothing with hints of gold jewelry, including knotted Bottega Veneta hoop earrings and a stack of gold rings. She kept her beauty look glowy and minimal, with a touch of pink blush and free-flowing waves pulled over one shoulder.

Meghan Markle smiles onstage at SXSW wearing a cream set

Markle discussed women's representation in media while wearing a striped top and gold jewelry.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

At publication time, the designers behind Markle's separates hadn't been shared. Soon after, @WhatMegWore identified the silk separates as a matching set by Italian label Giuliva Heritage.

Knowing the Duchess of Sussex's attention to detail, onlookers expected credits involving women-led brands in honor of International Women's Day. Throughout her time in the public eye, Markle has frequently selected designers for speaking engagements and appearances with ties to the place or topic she's discussing. In this case, the designers behind Giuliva Heritage have a backstory fitting for a panel on women's representation: Partners Margherita and Gerardo founded the label in 2017 to provide women with the same precisely tailored garments typically reserved for menswear. Today, the brand is still known for "feminine reinterpretations of classic  menswear silhouettes"—like the button-down shirt and silk skirt Markle chose for her panel.

Meghan Markle onstage at SXSW for international womens day

Markle sat onstage at SXSW with media experts including Katie Couric and Errin Haines (left).

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Markle appeared alongside Katie Couric, Errin Haines, Brooke Shields, and Nancy Wang Yuen to discuss women's representation in media. She spoke about sponsoring a groundbreaking study, "Rewriting Motherhood: How TV Represents Moms and What We Want To See Next," through The Archewell Foundation, in partnership with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.

“My past experience as an actress, and now today as a producer and mother, have amplified my belief in the critical importance of supporting women and moms both behind the lens and in front of it," the Duchess of Sussex previously said in a statement discussing the study's findings. “This report about the portrayal of mothers in entertainment highlights the gaps we need to fill to achieve true representation in the content we create and consume, and I’m honored to support this work through The Archewell Foundation.”

Meghan Markle appears on the sxsw panel in a beige set

Throughout the panel, Markle discussed the dangers of social media and the importance of standing up for equality—no matter who you are.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

On Friday's SXSW keynote panel, the Duchess of Sussex discussed both her recent media study and work she has done to address social media's negative impacts on women.

She also had meaningful advice for the audience, based on the advocacy work she began at just eleven years old: "Your voice is not small, it just needs to be heard," Markle said.

Halie LeSavage
Senior News Editor (Fashion & Beauty)

Halie LeSavage is the senior fashion and beauty news editor at Marie Claire, where she assigns, edits, and writes stories for both sections. Halie is an expert on runway trends, celebrity style, emerging fashion and beauty brands, and shopping (naturally). In over seven years as a professional journalist, Halie’s reporting has ranged from fashion week coverage spanning the Copenhagen, New York, Milan, and Paris markets, to profiles on industry insiders including stylist Alison Bornstein and J.Crew womenswear creative director Olympia Gayot, to breaking news stories on noteworthy brand collaborations and beauty launches. (She can personally confirm that Bella Hadid’s Ôrebella perfume is worth the hype.) She has also written dozens of research-backed shopping guides to finding the best tote bags, ballet flats, and more. Most of all, Halie loves to explore what trends—like the rise of doll-like Mary Janes or TikTok’s 75 Hard Style Challenge—can say about culture writ large. (She justifies almost any purchase by saying it’s “for work.”) Halie has previously held writer and editor roles at Glamour, Morning Brew, and Harper’s Bazaar. Halie has been cited as a fashion and beauty expert in The Cut, CNN Underscored, and Reuters, among other outlets, and appears in newsletters like Selleb and Self-Checkout to provide shopping recommendations. In 2022, she was awarded the Hearst Spotlight Award for excellence and innovation in fashion journalism. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Harvard College. Outside of work, Halie is passionate about books, baking, and her miniature Bernedoodle, Dolly. For a behind-the-scenes look at her reporting, you can follow Halie on Instagram and TikTok.