Designer Baby Names: Hot Off the Runway

Designer Baby Names: Hot Off the Runway

This week, AppellationMountain‘s Abby Sandel reports back from New York‘s Fashion Week, finding a stylish selection of voguish names.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week just wrapped in New York on Thursday. I’m no fashionista, but ever since Project Runway debuted, I’ve paid closer attention to the world of haute couture. It’s not just the clothes, of course. There are the exotic monikers of the supermodels – Frederique and Doutzen, Kinga and Honorine, Sofi and Shalom. This week I noticed that the designers themselves sport some inventive appellations, and even classics like Michael sound better paired with Kors.

Here are a few of my favorites from the runway:

Anna – As in the colorful Anna Sui.

BetseyBetty sounds fresh again. Can Betsey be far behind? Designer Betsey Johnson lends the name an edge.

Carolina – She’s the classic Caroline with a twist, inspired by Venezuela-born Carolina Herrera.

Callula Lillibelle – The designers behind Callula Lillibelle are Melanie Fraser Hart and William Calvert. Melanie borrowed her daughter’s name for the company. Callie/Tallulah hybrid Callula and the smoosh Lillibelle are as fashionable as her mother’s designs.

EleneElene Cassis is a newcomer to Fashion Week, but her name is an early medieval variant of Helen, found in an Old English religious poem.

Farah – Yes, everyone will assume you’ve named your daughter after Farrah Fawcett. But if Indonesian designer Farah Angsana makes it big, the name will take on a whole other vibe.

Joy – Single-syllable virtue names are big, and boys are answering to Felix. Why not the equally upbeat Joy? Designer Joy Cioci boosts the happy name’s style quotient.

Lela Rose – You probably know a little girl called Lila Rose, Layla Rose, or even Lily Rose. Lela can’t be far behind.

Kira – I’ve been quick to dismiss Kira as yet another kreative choice, but Russian designer Kira Plastinina reminds us that her name is a great Slavic heritage option.

LucaMilan’s Luca Orlandi established the fashion house that bears his name – twice: Luca Luca. It’s equally smart on the runway or for a son.

Milly – Designer Michelle Smith’s name given is bland. But her brand, Milly, is nothing but fresh and modern.

Nanette – A girl answering to the ladylike, retro Nanette would feel right at home in the creations of designer Nanette Lepore.

Porter Grey – The sisters behind Porter Grey are Kristen and Alexandra, but their company’s name would wear well on a boy.

RalphRalph is all-but-gone from use, despite the success of designer Ralph Lauren. Still, Design Mom gave the name to her eldest son, and some parents are cautiously reconsidering him. Leading man Ralph Fiennes pronounces his name Rafe, upping the cool factor considerably.

Tess – Used for characters in literature and box office hits, the diminutive Tess has stepped out of Theresa’s shadow. Designer Tess Giberson adds another dimension to the name.

Timo – Designer Timo Weiland’s first name is a Scandinavian spin on Timothy, and a logical fit with popular picks like Milo and Hugo.

Vivienne – Years before we’d ever heard of Brangelina, designer Vivienne Tam added her stamp to the French version of early twentieth century favorite Vivian. Punk pioneer Vivienne Westwood takes the name in another direction.

Borrowing from high fashion doesn’t always work. Chanel and Armani are a little too obvious. But this past week brought plenty of inspiration from talented designers who are just slightly less well known.

About the Author

Linda Rosenkrantz

Linda Rosenkrantz

Linda Rosenkrantz is the co-founder of Nameberry, and co-author with Pamela Redmond of the ten baby naming books acknowledged to have revolutionized American baby naming. You can follow her personally at InstagramTwitter and Facebook. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed New York Review Books Classics novel Talk and a number of other books.