Parlez-Vous Fashion?

Often mumbled or whispered, some of the most elite international designers have complicated names and cause us to worry about mispronouncing!  But don't fret, we've combed through and detangled them.  To avoid said slipups we’re going to teach you ladies to how say these names and terms correctly. Scroll down for a comprehensive glossary of our favorite designers and a phonetic guide to get them off the tip of your tongue! We want you to be confident when surrounded by Haute Couture - if you're saying Hot Coo-choor, you're going to want to change that to Oat Ku-Toor. 

Herve Leger ELISHA Bandage Dress, Saint Laurent Tribute Platform shoes

Herve Leger ELISHA Bandage Dress, Saint Laurent Tribute Platform shoes

Christian Louboutin

Don't let the reason you don't own a pair of these stilettos be because you are too embarrassed to say the name out loud! Though there still seems to be a bit of disagreement on how to properly pronounce the last syllable on this one, Louboutin is Loo-boo-tin (“tin” rhymes with the French word “vin”) or more commonly heard as Loo-boo-tahn, either is acceptable. Now, where is the emphasis? If think of it more as Loo b'ton, it will come out right :)

Louboutin Pumps Available Online.

Louboutin Pumps Available Online.

Yves Saint Laurent
Though he first worked for Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent introduced his own line in 1962. He invented several items of clothing, like the smoking jacket, the sheer blouse, and the jumpsuit. Though Saint Laurent retired in 2002, the label continues under the creative direction of Stefano Pilati. Saint Laurent believed that “dressing is a way of life” and is one of the most important, influential designers of the twentieth century.

His first name is pronounced, “Eves” like “Christmas and New Year’s Eves.” “Saint Laurent” is his last name, pronounced “SAHN” like in “song” and “LORE-ONT” like “lore” in the word “folklore” and “ONT” like in the word “want.” Yves Saint Laurent.  Of course, "YSL" is easy, clear, and we all know what you're talking about ;)

Yves Saint Laurent: Eve-san-Laur-ahnt

Givenchy
It’s true, these French names can be difficult, but this is another important one. Hubert de Givenchy opened the House of Givenchy in 1952, alongside greats like Christian Dior and Balenciaga. He was also the chief designer for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Audrey Hepburn. Though Givenchy himself retired in 1995, the Givenchy Femme line is perpetuated by Italian designer Riccardo Tisci.

Givenchy is pronounced with a French “J” sound, a soft “jz” made with the tip of the tongue, almost like saying “shh.” So its “jzhiv-on-shee,” since the French “e” makes a long “o” sound, and the “ch” is a “sh” sound. Givenchy.

Swarovski
Many of our sparkle loving clients seem to struggle when pronouncing the name "Swarovski". Swarovski makes a popular brand of "crystal" (cut glass) beads which are often used by designers in our jewelry and clothing.  The difficulty in pronouncing the name may come from the fact that in many Eastern European languages the "W" is pronounced like a "V" in English. However in English, a "W" is pronounced as a "W", so the English pronunciation of Swarovski is actually very easy. The best advise we have seen is to simply say, "swore-off-ski".


GLOSSARY OF DESIGNERS

A

  1. Abaeté: Ah-bye-ah-tay 
  2. Alejandro Ingelmo: Allay-handro In-gel-mo 
  3. Andrew Gn: Andrew Jen (rhymes with “ten”) 
  4. Andy Thê-Anh: An-dee Tay-Ann 
  5. Anya Hindmarch: Ahn-ya Heind-march 
  6. Arthur Mendonça: Ar-thur Men-doe-sa 

B

  1. Badgley Mischka: Badge-lee Meesh-ka 
  2. Balenciaga: Bah-len-see-AH-gah 
  3. Bottega Veneta: Bo-tega Ven-e-ta 
  4. Bulgari: Ball-gah-ree 
  5. Burberry Prorsum: Bur-bur-ree Pror-some 

C

  1. Cacharel: Cash-er-el
  2. Carolina Herrera: Caro-leena Hair-era 
  3. Cesare Paciotti: Che-sah-ray Pah-cho-tee 
  4. Chaiken: Chay-ken 
  5. Chanel: Shuh-nel 
  6. Christian Louboutin: Loo-boo-tin (“tin” rhymes with the French word “vin”) 
  7. Christian Dior: Dee-yor 
  8. Commes des Garcons: Comb day Garse-on, gentle ‘on’ sound on the end

D

  1. Dolce & Gabbana: Dole-chay
  2. Dries Van Noten: Drees Van Know-ten 

E

  1. Ermenegildo Zegna: Er-men-a-geel-do Zen-ya 
  2. Etro: Eh-tro

F

  1. Fendi: Fend-ee

G

  1. Gareth Pugh: Gareth Pew 
  2. Giles Deacon: Jy-els Dee-kin 
  3. Givenchy: Jhee-von-shee 
  4. Giambattista Valli: Gee-ahm-battista Valley 
  5. Gianfranco Ferre: Sj-yawn-franco Fair-ay
  6. Gucci: Goo-chee 
  7. Guy Laroche: Ghee La-roash

H

  1. Haute couture: Oat Ku-Tour
  2. Hedi Slimane: Eddy Sli-mahn 
  3. Hermès: Air-mez 
  4. Hervé Léger: Air-vay Lay-jay 
  5. Hussein Chalayan: Who-sane Sha-lion

I

  1. Issey Miyake: Eees-Ay Me-Yah-Kee not Is-he

J

  1. Jean Paul Gaultier: Sj-awn Paul Goat-ee-ay
  2. Joeffer Caoc: Joe-fur Kay-ock 
  3. Junya Watanabe: Joon-ya Wah-tah-nah-bay

L

  1. Lacroix: La-kwah
  2. Lanvin: Lon-vin
  3. Loewe: Low-ev-ay 
  4. Louis Vuitton: Loo-ee Voo-ee-ton 
  5. Lucien Pellat-Finet: Lu-see-en Peh-lought Fin-ay

M

  1. Madame Gres: Madame Gray 
  2. Marchesa: Mar-kay-sa 
  3. Marithe Francois Girbaud: Jer-bo
  4. Mainbocher: Maynbo-shay 
  5. Missoni: Miss-own-ee
  6. Moschino: Mo-ski-no 
  7. Monique Lhullier: Mo-neek Loo-lee-ay

N

  1. Narciso Rodriguez: Nar-siss-so Ro-dree-gez 
  2. Nicolas Ghesquière: Ni-co-la Guess-ki-air 

O

  1. Olivier Theyskens: Oli-vier Tay-skins

P

  1. Pierre Cardin: Pee-air Car-dain 
  2. Proenza Schouler: Pro-enza Skool-er not Schoo-ler

R

  1. Ralph Lauren: Ralph Lauren (as in Lauren the girl’s name, not Sophia Loren) 
  2. Rei Kawakubo: Ray Kah-wah-koo-bo 
  3. Rodarte: Ro-dart-tay 

S

  1. 6267: Six-two-six-seven
  2. Sonia Rykiel: Sonia Ree-kee-eel 
  3. Sophia Kokosalaki: So-fee-a Ko-ko-sah-lah-kee
  4. Swarovski: swore-off-ski

T

  1. Thakoon: Ta-koon 
  2. Thierry Mugler: Tee-air-ree Moog-lay 
  3. Tibi: Tbi (not Tee-bee) 
  4. Tocca: Toe-ka 

V

  1. Versace: Ver-saw-chee or Ver-sawch-eh with a soft ‘eh’ on the end 
  2. Vionnet: Vee-oh-nay 

Y

  1. Yves Saint Laurent: Eve-san-Laur-ahnt
  2. Yohji Yamamoto: Yo-jee Ya-ma-mo-to


Danielle KeoghComment