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.

Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


19 Responses to “Designer Baby Names: Hot Off the Runway”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

Filipa Says:

February 21st, 2011 at 4:51 am

Callula Lillibelle is nice! It reminds me of Lolita Lempicka – a french brand.

Question: What do you think of Brangelina dissing Ryan Seacrest at the Golden Globes? | People Q&A ! Says:

February 21st, 2011 at 7:58 am

[…] Designer Baby Names: Hot Off the Runway – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry […]

Tweets that mention Designer Baby Names: Hot Off the Runway – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry — Says:

February 21st, 2011 at 8:39 am

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jennifer Jones, Pam & Linda. Pam & Linda said: Nameberry today:: Designer Baby Names: Hot Off the Runway […]

Lola Says:

February 21st, 2011 at 9:12 am

I adore Carolina! So lovely. Timo’s absolutely aces. Timothy’s neat, but Timo’s a snappy, peppy variant.
As far as smushes go, Calulua makes me think of Caligula & luaus. Weird. (my brain, not Calulua!) 🙂 So I’ll still stick to the smush that’s got meaning for me: Lilivere

Lola Says:

February 21st, 2011 at 9:14 am

Callula, not Calulua! *sigh* sorry!

Tara Says:

February 21st, 2011 at 9:56 am

Luca is one of my favorites and my current top choice should I have a boy!

Abby Says:

February 21st, 2011 at 11:08 am

@Lola – Melissa Fraser Hart mentioned in an interview that Callula was from Ancient Rome. I haven’t been able to confirm it, but you might be on to something! And Lilivere is swoon-worthy.

Tara, I love Luca. Great name!

Jaime Says:

February 21st, 2011 at 11:36 am

I absolutely adore Tess…my husband wouldn’t go for it for either of my daughters. Sigh. Also LOVE Milly and Betty and Betsy.

Nicole Says:

February 21st, 2011 at 11:46 am

I’d love to see an article on the names of the models… they are always so different!

spotlightstarlit Says:

February 21st, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Go Carolina and Elene, work those runways, and my favorite’s list!

I am never more proud of my mum than when I see Carolina on an NB blog.

Callula is so very interesting, though I am not a fan of the loo-lah sound; Calla is beautiful as well.

Trying to see if Vivienne is up my ally. I’m not sure…

spotlightstarlit Says:

February 21st, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Love the new layout, as well, though I was in shock for a moment!

Abby Says:

February 21st, 2011 at 5:05 pm

@spotlightstarlit – I never liked Vivian, but I do find Vivienne appealing. Unfortunately, I think everyone else does too!

@Jaime – I adore Tess and Bess, too. Oh, and Kes. But our last name starts with S, so … not for us!

@Nicole – I think there is a fairly recent supermodel list here – not sure if I can link: And I know one of the NB books has a list of what supermodels have named their kids. That’s a fascinating read.

Elle Says:

February 21st, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Oh I love so many of these names!

Carolina is of course a timeless beauty.

Callula is fun! I really like Tallulah so this is an interesting on an already lovely name.

Joy is an undiscovered gem! I have a cousin named Joy, a friend named Tiffany Joy and my girlfriend has a daughter named Anna Joy.

Milly is adorable but I prefer the Millie spelling…and I LOVE Millicent!

Tess and Vivienne are so beautiful!

Emily Says:

February 21st, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Nameberry, your title at the top of the new layout needs to say “the world’s leading experts” instead of “the worlds leading experts.”

sarah Says:

February 21st, 2011 at 6:58 pm

How about some fashion funk inspired boys names too?

Macy Says:

February 22nd, 2011 at 10:54 am

Tess and Vivienne are great, would use them on a girl.
I’d also use Joy or Luka on a boy.


February 23rd, 2011 at 2:05 am

Carolina was in my top 3 for years but I couldn’t convince my husband, S, to love it. He butchers it, pronouncing it like the states and “can’t” say it any other way. We considered compromising with Caroline but know way too many of them.

Ralph was on my future son list but S said he wasn’t a fan so we named our youngest dog that when we rescued him. Now, nearly two years later, not only does he love the dog, but the name has grown on him so much that he said he likes it for a boy someday… That would be too weird for me but I hope it makes a comeback. The nickname Ralphie is adorable!

Azure Says:

March 2nd, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Our betta fish is named Callula! It was supposed to be Tallula, but our pre-schooler could only say Callula.

Sunday Summary: 9/11/11 | Appellation Mountain Says:

September 11th, 2011 at 2:28 pm

[…] Fashion Week again.  Name Candy looked at a few designer names, and here’s a link to my post at Nameberry from a previous Fashion […]

leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.