Exotic Italian and French designers are the mainstay of haute couture. But their hard-to-pronounce names can lead to embarrassing faux pas. Name drop like a pro with these pronunciation tips.
- Step 1: Put emphasis on the middle syllable of Versace, to pronounce it ver-SAH-chay. This Italian label was founded by the late Gianni Versace in 1978. After his murder, the business was taken over by Gianni's sister, Donatella. The label is known for its sexy, over-the-top fashions.
- Step 2: Be elegant and fluid when articulating the label Herve Leger. It should be Air-VAY Lay-jay. This French label, founded in 1985, is appreciated for its figure hugging bandage dresses.
- FACT: Haute couture is a French term meaning high fashion or high sewing. To be deemed a haute couture house, the label must belong to the Association of Haute Couture Houses in Paris, which is overseen by the French Department of Industry.
- Step 3: Aim for a voluptuous first syllable when pronouncing Hermes, as in air-mehz. This luxury French label was founded in 1837. It is known for it equestrian-themed silk scarves and fine leather accessories.
- Step 4: Accentuate the first syllable of the first name of Dolce & Gabbana, as in DOLE-chay and ga-BAHN-a. Founded in the 1980's, this Italian designing duo is known for its sleek, sexy pieces, like corset dresses and leopard prints.
- TIP: The term haute couture is pronounced oat co-TOOR.
- Step 5: Gloss over the hard vowels to smoothly pronounce Louis Vuitton, so it's Loo-E Voo-WE-tawn. This label is one of the oldest in the business; it was founded in 1854. They are known for their monogrammed canvas accessories.
- Step 6: Emphasize the second and third syllables of Badgley Mischka, as in Badge-LEE MISH-ka. Although their names sound foreign, both partners of this design duo are American. They are known for their signature beaded evening wear.