Fashion Faux Pas: Pronouncing Designer Names
It all started when I was sitting on my friend’s porch, drinking white sangria soaked up with watermelons. As the hot sun melted our ice cubes away, we got on the extended topic of fashion designers. She told me she liked the brand Chloé. I asked her to repeat the name because I had never heard of it - was it the sangria or my ears? “Kl-oh-ee,” she sounded out (just like the name of your best friend in 3rd grade). “OHHH!” I gasped, “you mean, Chloé.” Since it is a French brand, I always confirmed in my mind that it should be pronounced with a French accent. Living in Paris for a period of time will change the mindset on how you pronounce fashion labels.
Now I am sure we have all watched our fair share of “How to Pronounce Designer Names” videos (my favorite being Givenchy) and have heard 5 different variations of Maison Martin Margiela. English speakers have it tough in a world full of Eurocentric names. That being said, there is still mass confusion of how to pronounce the names of many US designers. As an American, I find it deeply upsetting when someone says Ralph Lauren in a French accent.
The real issues around pronouncing designer names are: risking sounding like a fool to make it clear what designer you are talking about to friends and trying not to feel like an asshole when saying a luxury brand in a fancy accent. So what should you do? Always try to pronounce the brand according to the country the designer originated from, no matter who you are talking to. If someone pronounced a name wrong, I wouldn’t feel so entitled to correct them. I hear a bunch of Americans butcher designer names just by pronouncing them in their natural American accents. If they cared enough to pronounce it correctly they would have done their research, just as many of us have. Designer names can be a mouthful and often intimidating to pronounce. As long as you are confident in yourself, say it like the Parisians, Japanese or Italians would!
.Gif from the video “A-Z of… Pronunciation”
The look on my boyfriend’s face as I frantically ran away from a butterfly was priceless. Although they are beautiful from afar, I always picture that episode from Spongebob. You know, the one where you see the up-close, freaky eyeballs of what once was Wormy? Unfortunately that is my reaction to most bugs, except the microscopic mini ones. Miniature anything is cute. Yes it is a ridiculous phobia; I’m working on it. These are the types of things you encounter when you shoot at a botanical garden.
My Greek friend introduced me to the idea of the evil eye. With her thick, beautiful curly hair and an arm party that could make even the Man Repeller do a double take, I listened in awe as she told me the meaning behind this multicultural symbol. “It repels mean thoughts, jealousy and misfortune,” she explained. I had never owned a good luck charm before, so right then and there I decided I needed to have one - a fashionable one at that.
I was shopping around Cape Cod when my friend brought me into a small boutique in Mashpee. My eyes immediately caught the glimmer of the evil eye bracelet by Michal Golan. Without a doubt, I knew it was the piece I was looking for. I loved the fresh and artistic take on the traditional evil eye. This revamped version of the ancient symbol was absolutely gorgeous and about 5 minutes later, was mine forever.
After researching more about the brand, I found the brilliantly colored world of Michal Golan. This talented artist can do it all - jewelry, ceramics and wall art. All of Michal’s pieces are handcrafted in her studio in New York City. Born in Israel, the jewelry designer often takes inspiration from Middle Eastern colors and schema to create her pieces. Her imagination cites the opulence of the Victorian era, which explains the magnificence of her work. I love her intricate use of beading and the phenomenal color combinations. I wear my evil eye bracelet every day. I’ve had it for over 4 years and it still looks and feels brand new.
Wild Horses. Outer Banks, North Carolina.