this is how you perfectly pronounce 75 fashion brands

From Ah-leeks to Zen-ya, A-Sigh to San-der Zoo, class is in session.

by Steve Salter
|
19 December 2018, 8:30am

“You don’t understand! This is an Alaïa,” Cher Horowitz explains to the man holding her at gunpoint during classic coming-of-age romcom Clueless. “A whatta?” asked the bemused mugger as his teenage victim refuses to lie face-down on the ground. “An Ah-Lie-Ah, it’s like a totally important designer,” she replied. Littered with references to Calvin Klein, Fred Segal and Azzedine Alaïa, the surprisingly fashion literate 1995 film provided one of the first lessons in our industry education. Firstly, that Azzedine Alaïa was a totally important designer, and secondly, how to say his name like the privileged Beverly Hills girl we all secretly long to be.

23 years later and we’re all still learning. “Enough with Versachee, Versasse or any other mispronunciation,” Donatella Versace declared at the Versace spring/summer 19 men’s show back in June. The Queen of fashion put an end to the nonsense and schooled us all in how to say Versa-chay, feel Versa-chay and be Versa-chay. Why? Because pronunciation problems are never chic. We all know how some fashion people can be, right? Some will laugh, others will cringe and your heart will sink. While the odd stumble or quick mumble will be forgiven when discussing a-soon-to-be-unveiled CSM grad, or a yet-to-be-fully-revealed underground design collection from Berlin, there’s an assumption that you should know how to perfectly pronounce the names of everyone else in fashion.

However, designer and label names can be notoriously difficult to pronounce and unless you hear the names of certain luxury labels or unusual surnames spoken by a pro, rather than just written down, it's all too easy to slip-up. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of every label -- both emerging and established -- in the industry that could potentially lead to misspeak, and created a pronunciation guide, so you how to say it like the industry insider you deserve to be.

Ahluwalia Studio: Ah-Loo-Wah-Lee-Ah Stu-Dee-Oh
Alyx: Ah-Leeks
Ann Demeulemeester: Ann De-Mule-Eh-Meester
ASAI: A-sigh
Azzedine Alaïa : Ah-Zeh-Deen Ah-Lie-Ah
Balenciaga: Bah-Len-See-Ah-Gah
Balmain: Bahl-Mah
Bottega Veneta: Bow-Tay-Guh Vah-Netta
Celine: Sell-Een
Chalayan: Cha-lie-on
Christian Louboutin: Christian Loo-Boo-Tan
Comme des Garçons: Com dey Gah-sohn
Courrèges: Koor-Ahj
Cottweiler: Cot-Why-Lah
CMMN SWDN: Com-on Swe-den
Dior: Dee-Or
Dolce & Gabbana: Dol-Chey and Gab-ana
Doublet: Doob-lay
Dries Van Noten: Drees van Know-Ten
Eckhaus Latta: Eck-house La-Ta
Erdem: Ur-dem
Fiorucci: Fee-Oh-Roo-Chi
Gareth Pugh: Gareth Pew
GmbH: Ge-Em-Be-Ha
Givenchy: Gee-Von-Shee
Haider Ackermann: Ay-Der Ak-Er-Man
Hermès: Er-Mez
Hyein Seo: Hyeah Suh
Issey Miyake: Iz-zah Mee-Yah-Key
Jacquemus: Jack-e-moo
Jean Paul Gaultier: Jon Paul Go-Tee-Ay
Junya Watanabe: Joon-Yah Wat-An-Ah-Bey
Koché: Kosh-Eh
Lanvin: Lahn-Vahn
Loewe: Loo-Eh-Vey
Louis Vuitton: Loo-Ee Vee-Ton
Ludovic de Saint Sernin: Loo-da-vic De San Ser-nan
Maje: Mahj
Maison Martin Margiela: May-Sohn Mart-in Mar-Jhell-Ah
Marques’Almeida: Mar-Kes Al-May-Da
Marine Serre: Ma-Reen Ser
Marta Jakubowski: Mar-ta Yuk-Ow-Bofski
Miu Miu: Mew-Mew
Moschino: Mos-Key-No
Mowalola: Moh-Wah-Lo-Lah
Noir Kei Ninomiya: No-wah Kay Nee-Nom-Ee-Yah
Nike: Nai-Kee
Ottolinger: Otto-Ling-Er
Paria Farzaneh: Pah-Re-Ah Far-Zen-Eh
Pihakapi: Pee-Ya-Kap-Ee
Prada: Pra-Da
Proenza Schouler: Pro-En-Zuh Skool-Er
Pyer Moss: Pee-air Moss
Ralph Lauren: Ralf Lor-En
Rochas: Row-Shahs
Rokh: Rock
Rodarte: Row-Dar-Tay
Roksanda Ilincic: Rok-sanda Ill-In-Chik
Sacai: Suh-Kai
Saint Laurent: San-Loh-Ron
Salvatore Ferragamo: Sal-Vah-Tor-Re Fer-Ra-Gah-Moh
Sies Marjan: See Mar-Jahn
Simone Rocha: See-Mone Ro-Sha
Sonia Rykiel: Sewn-Yah Ree-Key-El
Stüssy: Stoo-See
Sunnei: Sun-ee
Supriya Lele: Soo-Pree-Ya Lay-Lay
Thierry Mugler: Tea-Eh-Ree Moo-Gler
Walter Van Beirendonck: Wal-Tur Van Bai-Ren-Donk
Vetements: Vet-Mohn
Versace: Versa-chay
Vionnet: Vee-Oh-Nay
Xander Zhou: San-der Zoo
Yohji Yamamoto: Yo-Gee Yam-Ah-Mo-Toe
Zegna: Zen-Ya

still need help? watch how to pronounce the hardest names in fashion

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guide
Features
Balenciaga
prononciation
Azzedine Alaia