The second surprise comes from looking through her collections which – strawberry-prints aside – seem rather too racy for our future Queen. There are diamante-encrusted micro-mini dresses, bulky camouflage jackets and high-waisted leather trousers, all of which peddle a very different version of Italian style to the covered-up numbers Kate is so fond of.
“Not everything I make is long dresses,” says Rich, almost sharply. “If you see Dua Lipa or Hailey Bieber wearing my brand, you will see there are many different types of women and clothing.” I ask if her popularity di lei with the Duchess of Cambridge can be frustrating as it leaves her typecast di lei, and she laughs. “I am super grateful. The buyers know the collection is bigger so it is fine that the public mostly knows the more conservative pieces. The Duchess of Cambridge is such a style icon, I can’t ever say I’m not thrilled she likes my clothes. “
Rich in more than just name, the designer has long been a go-to for the society set and her dresses retail for about £ 1,300 each. She was born in the Italian countryside and moved to Mayfair nearly 30 years ago after meeting her British husband at an art fair. Today, she lives between two apartments – one airy, art-filled flat on ultra-sleek Mount Street and another in central Milan. At the start of their marriage, it was she who assisted her husband Steven at his gallery di lui; today, he is the CEO of her flourishing label di lei.
Rich came to her career later in life, starting her business in 2010, aged 41, with no formal training, just an understanding of how frustrating it was to have nothing to wear to the glamorous art world events she attended on a weekly basis. “I learned everything from scratch,” she says. “In the early days I was just doing something that I liked, it was a passion project. I was naive but determined and I had logic, so I’ve got here now. “