Weekend Post: Designer Brands and How To Pronounce Them - Part One
26 January 2013

Weekend Post: Designer Brands and How To Pronounce Them – Part One

During lunch one day, I overheard a popular designer brand being mispronounced. Well actually it goes like this: Lady X mispronounced the brand, and Lady X’s friend actually corrected her saying “you don’t say it like this, the brand is pronounced like THIS”. All triumphant after she did so, and convinced that she had said it correctly, she made her friend repeat after her. Little did she know that it was STILL not the right way to say it.

In the past, I’ve encountered labels being pronounced the wrong way one too many times, but I was not prepared for yet another situation, when even the boutique staff pronounced the brand that they were working with, wrongly. If you work for the brand, you should at least know how to say it the proper way, no? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to belittle others, because if I was, I wouldn’t be doing this blog post anyway.

Now, here are a few brands I’ve selected for this weekend’s blog post. The syllables in capital letters denote where the emphasis is needed.

While Loewe isn’t as popular in Malaysia, it’s still one of the most mispronounced brands that I’ve come across, the most common being “Low” and “Low-wee”. In fact, some have mistaken it to be the same as Malaysian shoe designer label Lewre.
Now how do we pronounce this Spanish brand? “Lo-WAY-vay”

Now of course the easiest would just to refer to this brand by the designers initials JPG. Sure, it’s much easier to do so but since we’re on this topic, let’s learn how to do it properly. “Zhaw-Paul-GO-TEE-ay”

Probably one of the most recognisable brands even to those who aren’t designer aware, and the most common (mis)pronunciation? “Lewis Vuitton”. That pronunciation would work just fine if it were in English, but since it’s French, it’s actually “Lou-Wee-VWEE-tawh”

 This label doesn’t only have a mispronunciation issue, it also has a mistaken country of origin problem.  Yes, although it sometimes says “Balenciaga Paris”, it originated as a Spanish brand!
Say it with me: “Ba-LEN-SEE-Ya-Ga”

 One of my favourite labels of all time, and it is rather disappointing to hear it being called “Gee-ven-chee” or “Jee-Ven-Chee”, when it’s actually “Zhee-vawn-SHEE”. In fact, most K-pop fans have probably learnt the correct pronunciation by listening to girl band 2NE1’s song “Can’t Nobody” which made quite a few references to designer labels in their lyrics. And if you’re wondering, no, I don’t listen to K-Pop. LOL.

Ah, now this one is a little heartbreaking especially since the “Yves” has been omitted from the brand, thanks to Hedi Slimane. But still, it ain’t a reason to not know how to pronounce it, no? Here we go: “EVE-Sahn-LOR-Hong” (last 2 syllables to be said quickly, one after the other). Now that the brand has been shortened to just “Saint Laurent”, simply omit the “Eve” syllable and you’re all set.

“HER-mees”, “HER-mess” and even “Herms” are some of the ways I’ve heard this über-luxury label being called. Nope, it’s very simply, “AIR-Mehz”

Now, I hope you enjoyed today’s “lesson”. I will be doing Part 2 featuring other brands so stay tuned for that. Meanwhile, leave a comment below for the brands you’d want me to be include in the next segment!