Ask the Name Lady

Ask Now

Fresh for Fashion Week: Designer Baby Names

Armani. Valentino. Gianni. Chanel. Today's lineup at New York Fashion Week, perhaps? Not this time. Those four names were plucked off the official listing of America's top 1000 baby names.

Parents have always had grand dreams for their babies, and those dreams have always rubbed off on names. Scan through the popular name charts from the 1800s and you'll find vintage visions of the high life. There are boys named General, Noble and Prince and girls called Golden, Blossom and Queen, along with the more familiar Ruby and Pearl.

What's changed is the labels. Instead of generic gemstones, parents today aim for brand-name bling.

The breakthrough label was Tiffany & Co., the jewelry emporium that gave us one of the top names of the '70s and '80s. Tiffany is actually a medieval form of Theophania, but who are we kidding? America's love affair with the name only started when Audrey Hepburn went cruising for diamonds in "Breakfast at Tiffany's."

Chanel was the next to join the ranks of designer baby names. Then, starting in the '90s, luxury-labeled babies took off. There are now more boys named Armani than Harry and more girls name Armani than Barbara. Even Nautica hit the name charts three years running.

Today, it's open season on designer names. The only restrictions are that the name has to sound glamorous (even shoe maestro Jimmy Choo can't do that for Jimmy) and it has to sound like a first name (sorry, Gucci).

So as you check out the fashion week catwalk, put the designers to the ultimate test. Sure, they might do fine in America's wardrobes. But can they make their mark on America's nurseries?

Comments

Please do not add links to your comments. Thank you.

January 23, 2010 11:49 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I always taught names like Chanel and Armani sounded cheap

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.