A couple of months ago, we discovered that a fairly hefty amount of people were typing the words “Armez bags” into Google every month. After a second or two, we realized they were searching for Hermes bags, but—for folks who aren’t exactly fashion followers—the phonetic spelling actually makes perfect sense. French words are hard! And, to be fair, Hermes isn’t the only designer name to throw people for a serious loop.
In fact, it almost seems like having a tricky-to-pronounce label name is a rite of passage for many high-end designers (How many silent H and S sounds can an amateur linguist handle?!) Even fashion editors like us occasionally get stumped when it comes to flawlessly verbalizing even the most ubiquitous French brand names like Louis Vuitton and Givenchy.
In honor of Paris Fashion Week’s kick off, we’ve compiled a handy guide that teaches you how to properly pronounce 20 French designer names—From Alaia to Rochas.
Pronunciation: Ann De-Mule-Eh-Meester
Pronunciation: Azz-Eh-Deen Ah-Lie-Ah
Comme Des Garcons
Pronunciation: Comb Dey Gah-Sown
Dries Van Noten
Pronunciation: Drees Van Know-Ten
Pronunciation: Gee-Am-Bah-Tease-Ta Vah-Lee
Pronunciation: Iss-ee Mee-Yah-Key
Jean Paul Gaultier
Pronunciation: Zhon Paul Go-Tee-Ay
Pronunciation: Jun-Yah Wat-An-Ah-Bey
Pronunciation: Loo-Wee Vwee-Tahn
Maison Martin Margiela
Pronunciation: May-Sohn Martin Mar-Jhell-Ah