Friday Fabü

There’s a very important issue that we need to discuss: the rampant, brutal butchering of designer and brand names. It’s reaching crisis levels. Something must be done before the streets are teeming with ignorant trendinistas, blathering away like Nomi “Ver-sayce” Malone (Elizabeth Berkley) from “Showgirls.”  Positively cringeworthy.

Look, I’m not saying that any of us are so enlightened that we innately know the correct pronunciation of every name. We’ve all had our fair share of read-it-but-never-said-it moments. Sadly, some of us have even suffered unfortunate Nomi moments. It ends now. Here are some commonly mispronounced names and the proper ways to say them.  

Balenciaga: Bah-lin-cee-ah-gah

Bebe: Bee-bee

Bvlgari: BUHL-guh-ree

Cartier: Kar-tee-aye

Christian Lacroix: La-Kwa

Décolletage: day-cole-ay-taj

Empire (as in empire waist): em-pire OR ohm-peer (both are correct)

Ermenegildo Zegna: Er-men-a-geel-do Zen-ya

Frédéric Fekkai: fred-er-riq fehk-eye

Givenchy: zhee-von-she

Guerlain: gair-lahn

Hermés: air-mez

Hervé Léger: Air-vay Lay-jay

Issey Miyake: EE-say me-AH-kay

Kérastase: care-a-stoss

Lanvin: lahn-vahn

L'occitane: lox-ee-tan

Louboutin: loo-boo-tan

Moschino: Mo-ski-no

Proenza Schouler: pro-en-za skool-er

Ralph Lauren: ralf LOR-uhn

Ruching: roosh-ing

6267: Six-two-six-seven (not Sixty-two-sixty-seven)

Shiseido: she-say-doe

Shu Uemura: shoe-eew-ay-murah

Thierry Mugler: Tee-air-ree Moog-lay

Yves Saint Laurent: eve sanh la-rahn

Lesson adjourned. Need more help? Check out Speak Chic, the $1.99 mobile app with an A-Z list of recorded pronunciations of designer and brand names, industry lingo and such. 

Posted on April 20, 2012 and filed under Fabü.