clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

FNO PREP SCHOOL: Pronounce The Names Correctly

New, 4 comments

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Can you believe that Fashion's Night Out is just next week?? It seemed like just yesterday we were prepping for and partying at Glamorama. But we relish any and all major fashion events throughout the year, so we don't mind one bit. But since we're going to be immersed in all things fashion in Chicago from now until FNO commences on September 6, we think you may want a primer on how to pronounce certain designer names (and not embarrass yourself in the process) when you're searching for that elusive designer dress for the events.

Everyone loves (and wants) a sexy shoe. One that elongates the leg and exudes sex from every angle--you know what we're talking about here: the "do me" shoe. And we think the king of the "do me" shoe is Christian Louboutin, the genius behind the red-soled heels that have become one of the most distinctive and iconic fashion objects in popular culture. His name has been butchered from here to Timbuktu, and some are so frustrated by his name that they just refer to him, and his shoes, as "red bottoms." The name in question is actually pronounced like this: "Loo boo tahn." Now, when you go to the fab shoe departments of Neiman's, Nordstroms or Saks 10022-shoe, you'll be able to eloquently ask for one of fashion's most amazing pieces of wearable art with confidence.

The peplum trend is still going strong, and it features prominently in Lanvin's collection this season. Yes, Lanvin. Alber Elbaz has been at the helm for years, and has thrust the line into the spotlight. His fabulous cocktail dresses, evening gowns, skirts, pants and blazers are frequently worn by the likes of A-listers all over the world, and highlights the beauty of women; but one thing that is not beautiful is to hear people butcher the line's name. We've heard "LAN vin," "Lon VIN," and myriad others, and our ears bleed every single time. Sometimes we snicker when we think of what the sales folk must be thinking. Then again, they've probably heard it all. So, how do you pronounce Lanvin's name? Well, if you think of grass and then think of a soccer mom, you just may pronounce it correctly: "lawn VAHN." If you pronounce it like that, no sales person will be able to say anything to you.

Though we don't hear as much about this designer/couturier as we did in the 80s and early 90s, he's still around and his name is as confusing as ever. Christian Lacroix...have you noticed how they're all French?? Anyway, we remember a certain Lil Kim song back in the 90s which rapped about her lounging around in her "Christian Lakroys." Sorry Kim, NO. The 61-year old designer's name is spoken this way: "Christian La KWAH." Rap it right.

One of our favorite couture houses is Givenchy. The line's clothes and accessories make us drool every season. We wish we had a seven figure income JUST to purchase the entire line, but alas, we do not. At the very least, we could pay homage to Ricardo Tisci's brain by enunciating Givenchy's name accurately. No, he would not be happy to hear "Guh VIN chee," but he'd probably give you what Rooney Mara is NOT wearing to the next red carpet event if you pronounce it as "ZHEE VON SHEE."

With the imminent arrival of the new Burberry store, and with everyone and their mother donning novacheck, from bags to wellies to trenches, you'd think it'd be the easiest line to pronounce. Especially because it's NOT French, and it's pretty phonetic, but in fact, it's one of the most mispronounced designer labels. We often hear folks who think that they're all that go in to ask for "BER berry," but in fact, Christopher Bailey's baby is pronounced "Bur buh ree," with every syllable given equal emphasis. Got it? Get it right if you expect to show your face at the most highly anticipated store re-opening of the year.

· All Burberry Bonanza 2012 Coverage [Racked]
· Givenchy [Official Site]
· Christian LaCroix [Official Site]
· All Lanvin Coverage [Racked]
· All Christian Louboutin Coverage


633 N Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60606


116 E Oak Street, Chicago, IL 60611 Visit Website