Tuesday, April 14, 2009

How to Pronounce Designers' Names

It's no secret that the fashion crowd is judgey, judgey (maybe only the Victorians were as condemning). Mispronouncing an important designer's name is tantamount to wearing denim bell-bottoms at the height of the skinny jean phase, if you care. Because I worked at a magazine and went to runway shows and stuff, I received on-the-job training when it comes to a familiarity and ability to correctly pronounce designers' names. But since that's not the case for most, unless you speak French and Italian with aplomb, how are you supposed to avoid at least one Nomi in "Showgirls" type of situation (remember when she mispronounced "Versace"? Ouch.) While researching a story recently I came across the following Wall Street Journal resource: Instead of simply spelling the names phonetically, they actually enlisted foreigners to properly pronounce the names of the major players. Hey, could come in handy next time you want some salesperson to pull that Ermenegildo Zegna out of the shop window.

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