Fashion Mis-Statements

In this age of label-mania, none of us want to cause a gaffe riot. Hence, our first ever Fashionista Pronunciation Guide.

Tony Soprano bought Carm some high-quality "Hermeez." Showgirls' Nomi Malone gushed about "Ver-sayze." One of our own fashion editors arrived in NYC convinced that DKNY was "Dick-knee." It happens to the best of us . . .


This Singapore-born designer's name rhymes with "Zen"—the antithesis of his opulently embellished clothes.

ANNA SUI \swee\

Maybe it was her cowgirl collection, but her surname did elicit the pig call "sueeee!!!" Think "sweet" sans the T.

AQUASCUTUM \ah-kwa-skew-tum\

As you'll remember from Latin class, this name merges aqua (water) and scutum (shield)—and these British raincoats have lived up to it for well over a century.

BALENCIAGA \ba-len-see-ah-ga\

Today's head designer, Nicolas Ghesquiere \nee-coh-la guess-kee-air\, is also a mouthful. Rather delicious, he is, too!

BEHNAZ SARAFPOUR \ben-oz sah-rafpoor\

This A-list designer is simply "Behnaz"; her clientele—mostly rich-girlsin- a-hurry—rarely have time to manage both her first and last name.

CESARE PACIOTTI \che-sah-ray pa-chotee\

We say ciao and get all choked up over his gorgeous footwear.

CHLOË SEVIGNY \sev-en-ee\

This actress/designer's muse is seven times a style icon.

DRIES VAN NOTEN \dreez van no-ten\

The first name rhymes with "trees," which is easy to remember: The Belgian scattered gold leaf through his fall collection.

HERMÈS \er-mez\

So, who's going to tell Tony Soprano that the formidable French house ne pronounce pas the "h"? The second syllable rhymes with "fez."

INEZ VAN LAMSWEERDE \in-ez van lams-veerd\ & VINOODH MATADIN \vihnood mat-a din\

Even seasoned fashionistas need travel guides to navigate the bumpy road through these photographers' multisyllabic monikers.

MARCHESA \mar-kay-sah\

Hollywood actresses are more than okay with what this London house offers.

MIU MIU \mew-mew\

No need to get into a catfight over it: Miuccia Prada's nickname is as easy to love as her funky secondary line.

MONIQUE LHUILLIER \mo-neek loo-leeyay\

Rumor is a lot of young actresses send their stylists over to pick up her glam gowns: Her name is a line many of them just can't learn.

NATALIA VODIANOVA \vo-dee-ah-no-vah\

She sounds like a prima ballerina and is grace personified on the catwalk.

PETER SOM \sahm\

Many a psalm has been sung to this young designer's heavenly clothes.

PROENZA SCHOULER \pro-en-za skooler\

"Schoul" rhymes with "drool"—and you might over their fabulous fall 2006 collection.

RODARTE \ro-dar-tay\

This exquisite label's hand-stitching and beading attest to the art of fashion (but pronounce all three syllables).


She looks Scandinavian—but doesn't go by "yo." It's Jo-hansson.

SONIA RYKIEL \ree-kee-el\

We're really keen on her resort collection.

THAKOON \ta-koon\

Suppress the urge to pronounce this onenamer "tha-koon." You wouldn't go out for "thigh food," would you?

TIIU KUIK \tee-you kweek\

Estonia exports models with impossibly long legs and impossibly short names.

TRASTEVERINE \tras-te-ve-reen-eh\

Italians believe all vowels are created equal: Give them their due.