Mental Floss–Commonly Mispronounced Fashion Words

Pronunciations, mispronunciations and alternate pronunciations are obviously three different things. The American and British versions leave us all confused and to add to the confusion comes French. What a tough task it is to understand these. We all can follow either versions as long as we pronounce the words correctly. While alternate pronunciations are passable, mispronunciations are not. Imagine a fashionista walking up to you and bragging about her “Channel” (Chanel) bag. BLASPHEMY! in the fashion world isn’t it?

Fashion pronunciations

So if you don’t want to find yourself in a fix, just like part 1 and part 2, I have a set of words and their correct pronunciations for you. Let’s see what’s your score this time.

BVLGARI – No. Don’t try and pronounce B and V together to get this right. It is BULGARI or (BUHL-guh-ree).
BEAUTÉ – A French word for beauty, it represents a famous cosmetics brand too. Besides, you will see a lot of spas using this word too. Don’t call it Be-You- Tay. The correct pronunciation is (BO-tay)
GIVENCHY – You’ve heard about the brand but a few people I know aren’t aware of the correct pronunciation. It is not Gi-ven-chi but (zhee-von-she)
HERMÈS – If you have guessed it by now, its not “Herms” but (air-mez)
LOUIS VUITTON – We love their bags but the feeling won’t be mutual if you pronounce it is “Loo-is- Vi- Tun”. You need to call it (lou-ee VEE-tonn)
OMBRÉ – For those of you who are not aware, Ombre means shaded. From nails to cakes to clothes to wall colors, this word is trending. However, don’t call it “Om-ber” it is (om-bray)
YVES SAINT LAURENT – Most people get the pronunciation wrong. I did to when I first heard the name. Say it loud for a few times and you will never forget it (eve sanh la-rahn)
ACCESSORY I hate to say this but many people still call it “ass-ess-or-y”. It is actually (AK-SESS-OR-Y)
DOLCE & GABBANA -  Often whispered as “dole-say” and gabbana, it’s (dol-che) and gabbana.
HAUTE COUTURE Don’t go to a fashion show and say “hot-ko-ture” pleaseeeee. The designers might just kill themselves. It is (oat koo-toor)
VERSACE – I’ve heard people call it Versass and I couldn’t stop giggling. For all those friends, I mean good – the right way to say it is (ver-sah-chee)
CHANEL – No it’s not the TV channel with an “N” missing. It’s a reputed brand and its called (Sh-ah-nel)


  1. Quite informative!

  2. Why don’t you do a similar post on some of the most common brands in all categories? That’d be nice.

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