There are some very strange fashion names around if you pause to consider them.
Fat Face, Ugg, Firetrap. And who could have thought up Sandwich as a name for a womenswear brand? Betty Barclay sounds like a friend of Miss Marple. Jaeger, another stalwart of British fashion, actually means ‘huntsman’ in German.
Nowadays we accept them all without batting an eyelid. Whoever invented the Not Your Daughter’s Jeans name deserves a medal for bravery because I wouldn’t have bet on that mouthful being a success.
I’ve sold some titular turkeys in my time, some of which were completely unpronounceable because they didn’t translate well from one language to another.
My first-ever label had the name Nicowa - in German the ‘w’ is pronounced as a ‘v’ and therefore much easier to say that way. I’ve been selling Krinès for a good few years, which is a German name with a French accent in it. But the best names are more neutral and work in all languages, such as Zara, MaxMara and H&M.
Lee AlexanderMcQueen used his middle name for his label, presumably because it sounded better than Lee McQueen. Well done, Sir Paul Smith, for using his own name and letting the clothes speak for themselves.
Sticking to a person’s name for a brand name seems a good, straightforward solution. Wandering off in other directions is always interesting though. I adore Pilgrim jewellery, but that name is an antonym.
But after many years I’ve finally managed to represent a label with a name that brings a smile to everyone’s face: Eva Tralala. It has that feelgood factor.
But no matter what the name is, the clothes must always speak for themselves.
Clare Morgan runs the Clamor Fashion Agency in Wilmslow, Cheshire