Markle was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and is of mixed race heritage. During her studies at Northwestern University, she began playing small roles in American television series and films. From 2011 to 2017, she played Rachel Zane, on the American legal drama series Suits. An outspoken feminist, Markle has addressed issues of gender inequality, and her lifestyle website The Tig featured a column profiling influential women. She represented international charity organisations in the 2010s. She has received recognition for her fashion and style, releasing a line of clothing in 2016.