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How These Items Got Their Name

Do designers just pick names they like out of thin air? Do they obsess over their decisions as if naming a child? Where—to put it simply—do these names come from? Below are some of our favorite fashion items and the history behind it’s name.

Ray-Ban Wayfarer

Ray-Ban Classic Wayfarer 50mm Tortoise Sunglasses ($150)

As new airplanes allowed people to fly higher and farther, many U.S. Air Force pilots were reporting that the glare from the sun was giving them headaches and altitude sickness. A new kind of eyewear was introduced with green lenses that could cut out the glare without obscuring vision, hence the brand name Ray-Ban. Although the naming of the Wayfarer has been lost to history, we do know that it debuted after the brand’s first pair, the Aviator, and was made of plastic in contrast to the Aviator’s metal. Being that “wayfarer” means a person who travels on foot, it seems the name was chosen to highlight the differences between Ray-Ban’s first two releases.

Louis Vuitton Speedy

Louis Vuitton Speedy 25 ($990)

In 1930, following the success of the Keepall, Louis Vuitton launched a smaller version aimed to be a handbag for travel: the Speedy. The original name, “Express,” was changed to “Speedy” as a reference to the development of modern means of transportation and the increasingly faster way of living.

Stella McCartney Falabella Bag

Stella McCartney Black Falabella Shaggy Deer Big Tote ($1265)

The Falabella bag was named after a horse, as Stella was a rider growing up. The Noma bag is also named after a horse, and McCartney has been known to name certain bags after her kids as well, such as the Beckett.

Chloé Drew Bag

Chloé Drew Leather Crossbody Bag ($1650)

Chloé names its handbags using an alphabet naming system that was reintroduced by designer Clare Waight Keller in celebration of its 60th anniversary. Each season, the handbags are named after the next letter of the alphabet. For example, for pre-fall 2014, it was the letter D, so the bags that were introduced that season were the “Drew,” “Dree,” and “Dilan.” The Drew was given its name as the roundness of the name mimicked the roundness of the bag’s silhouette.

Rag & Bone Newbury Boot

Rag & Bone Classic Newbury Boot in Black ($525)

The name Newbury was conceived as an homage to the designers’ British roots, as it was named after the Newbury Park stop on the tube line (which is the London equivalent to the MTA subway in Manhattan). Another best-selling boot, the Harrow, was named after another stop, at North Harrow.

3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Satchel

3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Medium Satchel in Agave ($895)

The Pashli was launched on the fall 2011 runway, and the video campaign for that season was called “Girls on Bikes,” so all of the bag groups in that collection, including this one, were inspired by different bike company names.

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