20 Fashion Labels You’ve Probably Been Mispronouncing

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Fashion labels and brands can be difficult to pronounce. If you don’t want to embarrass yourself at the next fashion week, follow our how to guide on pronouncing some of the trickier names in luxury fashion.


1. Hermès

Get ready with your best French accent and pronounce it with a silent ‘H’ – “er-mez”, not “her-mess” or “her-meez”.

The brand is named after Thierry Hermès, who founded the company in 1837.


2. Miu Miu

Time to do a cat impression – Miu Miu is pronounced as “mew mew”, not “mee-oo mee-oo”.

The name comes from the nickname of the founder – Miuccia Prada.


3. Acne

If you’re wondering why a fashion brand would name themselves after a disfiguring skin condition, it’s pronounced “ahk-nay”, not “ack-nee”.

ACNE is actually an acronym for “Ambition to Create Novel Expressions”.


4. Burberry

It’s not “bur-berry”, but “ burr-bur-ee”

Like many fashion brands, the label is named after the founder – Thomas Burberry.


5. Ralph Lauren

You wouldn’t be the only person to pronounce it as “lauron” but its actually more phonetic – “ralf lor-en”

Ralph Lauren is founded after the American designer who founded the company, who actually changed his surname from Lifshitz after being bullied at school. This explains why it’s not pronounced the French way.


6. Givenchy

If you’ve been pronouncing this with a hard “G” you’re wrong – it’s “zjee-von-shee”.

This is another company named after its French founder – Hubert de Givenchy


7. Badgley Mischka

“badge-lee meesh-kah”

The name comes from the surnames of the two founding designers – Mark Badgley and James Mischka.


8. Elie Saab

It’s not “Ellie”, it’s “ee-lee sahb”

Elie Saab is Lebanese and his name is Arabic.


9. Joie

It’s tempting to pronounce as “joey” but you have to think like the French and pronounce it “jwah”.

Joie means “joy” in French.


10. Christian Louboutin

Often shortened and used as a noun – “my Louboutins”, make sure you put on your best French accent and pronounce it correctly if you’re going to do this. It’s “lou-bou-ton”.


11. Moschino

The sch doesn’t make a soft sound – it’s “mos-key-no”

Named after the Italian founder – Franco Moschino


12. Lanvin

Don’t say it how it looks – it’s “lahn-vahn” like the name of the French founder, Jeanne Lanvin


13. Marchesa

It’s “mar-kay-zah”, not “mar-chess-a” or “mar-kess-a”

Somewhat unusually, designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Graig decided to name their label after a 20th century Italian socialite, Marchesa Luisa Casati.


14. Saint Laurent

“san lau-ron”

Originally known as Yves Saint Laurent, or YSL after the founder.


15. Monique Lhuillier

“Mo-neek Loo-lee-ay”

This fashion designer is actually Filipino but her parents were of French and Spanish descent.


16. 3.1 Philip Lim

“Philip Lem”

Philip Lim is of Chinese and Cambodian descent. The “3.1” comes from the fact that both Lim and his business partner, Wen Zhou, were both 31 when they started the company.


17. Thakoon


Named after the Thai-American designer Thakoon Panichgul.


18. Prabal Gurung

“prubble goo-rung”

This designer’s name is Nepalese.


19. Rodarte


Rodarte is the maiden name of the mother of the two founders – sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy


20. Proenza Schouler

“pro-en-zuh skool-er”

Another brand that’s named after the designers’ mothers’ names in this case Larazo Hernandez’s mother’s middle name and Jack McCollough’s mother’s maiden name. They considered using their own surnames but Hernandez McCollough didn’t quite have the same ring to it. However they’ve since said that naming their label is one of their biggest regrets.


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