Designer Pronunciation Guide

Use this guide to pronounce the names of your favorite fashion designers.

Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld.
Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and designer Karl Lagerfeld attend the FIT Couture Council's Annual Luncheon at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Getty Images, Stephen Lovekin / Staff

Saint Laurent.

Loewe.

Ralph Lauren.

The names of fashion designers and brands are not always easy to pronounce. Depending on the origin country of the brand or person, you might have a silent 'G' as in Zegna (pronounced zen-ya) or two silent 'T' sounds, as in Saint Laurent (pronounced saan loh-rahn).

Did you know that Ralph Lauren is not pronounced, as so many people do, like Lauren is French? It is said exactly as it looks: Ralph Lauren, ralf lohr-en. 

Remember that the man himself, Mr. Ralph Lauren, is American, and his name is pronounced as such.

With so many different and foreign designers out there, it is nearly impossible to assume that people who work outside the fashion industry should know how to pronounce every single name. Don't beat yourself up about it! Luckily, many magazines and web sites have put together excellent tutorials in a variety of formats to help you learn and memorize these tricky pronunciations. One of the most surprising ones we learned? Loewe is actually German, and pronounced like loh-eh-vay. 

Below, see true and phonetic spellings of your favorite fashion designers to help you learn how to pronounce each name.

Anna Sui: anna swee

Ann Demeulemeester: ann de-mule-eh-meester

Azzedine Alaia: azz-eh-deen ah-lie-ah

Badgley Mischka: badge-lee meesh-kah

Balenciaga: bah-len-see-ah-gah

Balmain: bahl-mahn (try to soften the "n" as much as possible)

Bottega Veneta: bow-tay-guh vah-netta

Carven: cahr-ven

Christian Lacroix: christian luh-kwa

Christian Louboutin: christian loo-boo-tan (try to soften the "n" as much as possible)

Comme des Garçons: comb dey gah-sown (try to soften the "n" as much as possible)

Dolce & Gabbana: dol-chey and gab-ahna

Dries Van Noten: drees van know-ten

Gareth Pugh: gare-eth pew

Giambattista Valli: gee-am-bah-tease-ta vah-lee

Givenchy: zjee-von-shee

Hermès: er-mez

Hervé Léger: air-vay lay-jah

Hussein Chalayan: hoo-sane sha-lion

Issey Miyake: iss-ee mee-yah-key

Jean Paul Gaultier: zhon paul go-tee-ay

Junya Watanabe: jun-yah wat-an-ah-bey

Lanvin: lahn-vahn (try to soften the "n" as much as possible)

Loewe: loh-wev-eh

Louis Vuitton: loo-wee vwee-tahn

Maison Martin Margiela: may-sohn martin mar-jhell-ah

Marchesa: mar-kay-sah

Mary Katrantzou: mary cat-trant-zoo

Miu Miu: mew-mew

Monique Lhuillier: monique loo-lee-ay

Moschino: mos-key-no

Olivier Theyskens: oh-liv-ee-ay tay-skins

Proenza Schouler: pro-en-zuh skool-er

Rochas: row-shahs

Rodarte: row-dar-tay

Roksanda Ilincic: roksanda ill-in-chik

Rosie Assoulin: rosie uh-soo-lin

Salvatore Ferragamo: sal-vah-tor-re fer-ra-gah-moh

Sonia Rykiel: sewn-yah ree-key-el

Thakoon: tah-koon

Versace: vur-sah-chay

Yves Saint Laurent: eve san lau-ron

Yohji Yamamoto: yoh-jee yam-ah-mo-to

Use the guides below to explore more of the world of fashion designer pronunciation in all it's confusing, surprising and interesting glory:

Designer Pronunciation 101, from InStyle: A 46-slide alphabetical guide to how to pronounce designer names including Altuzara, Commes des Garçons, Balenciaga and more.

This guide is also helpful in other ways besides pronunciation, it includes the founding dates and current designers of each of the brands as well.

How to Pronounce Every Fashion Designer Name, from PopSugar: This handy video doesn't include every fashion designer, but it does include some important new designers you should know, including Prabal Gurung, Olivier Theyskens and Peter Pilotto.

How to Pronounce 53 Fashion Designer names, from Fashionista: This guide is especially helpful for fashion industry insiders. Along with the names of brands, Fashionista's comprehensive guide also includes the names of the actual people who design the clothes for these brands—which is important because they seem to rotate constantly. Did you know that Nicolas Ghesquière (nee-ko-la jes-ke-air) is now the creative director of women's collections at Louis Vuitton, for example?

All the Designer Names You Can't Pronounce, Plus a Video Tutorial, from Man Repeller: This fun guide comes with some editorial context as it relates to Fashion Week, which can be especially helpful for anyone trying to write about fashion on their own. Plus Leandra Medine, the founder of Man Repeller, is amusing to watch. This is a fun one!

Designer Name Audio Guide, from The ChicSpy: This audio guide is perfect for those who learn best via listening rather than reading. It is an extensive guide, with Soundcloud files on designers both well-known and slightly obscure, from Tibi to Loewe, Marchesa to Ann Demeulemeester.

How to Pronounce the Hardest Names in Fashion, via i-D: This video is hands-down the most gorgeous and visually stunning way you could possibly learn how to pronounce the names of famous fashion designers—and it has more than 1.2 million views so far. Models dressed in looks from the fashion houses pronounce everything from Issey Miyake to Erdem, dance and generally look amazing.

After browsing these detailed guides, you should feel confident to go forth and speak about all your favorite fashion designers with confidence—good luck!