Last Updated on 19th October 2013

There is nothing so embarrassing as mispronouncing someone’s name. It’s even more more of a faux pas if it is in reference to something you’re supposed to be something of an expert on; there’s no better way to make someone think you’re a faker than saying someone’s name totally wrong.

Take fashion designers, for example. The fashion industry exists on a global level quite unlike anything else, where your nationality doesn’t necessarily set you on a higher rung on the ladder of recognition.

That being said, we’re not all fluent in French, Italian, Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, or any of the zillions of other languages spoken by the homelands of the big name designers, so there is no way we could possibly know how to correctly pronounce all of their names.

All of this isn’t to say you can’t study and practice your way to a seemingly effortless level of expertise; simply visit the Wall Street Journal’s handy pronunciation guide and you’ll have mastered the names of even the most tongue-twisting designers. So go ahead, why don’t you name drop a little?

Mamma mia! The Italian names can play tricks on you, too — such as Bulgari (BOOL-ga-ree), Ungaro (OON-ga-ro), Versace (ver-SAH-chay) and Zegna (ZANE-ya). And from Spain comes the tricky Loewe (LO-ee-VAY).

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