Why is fashion schooling us on spelling and pronunciation? 

Why is fashion schooling us on spelling and pronunciation? 

by Ollie Cox
4 min

From SSENSE to LOEWE, to Corteiz, fashion is schooling us on spelling and pronunciation through a series of light-hearted campaigns. Whether it’s kids killing it with their mesmerising knowledge of Maison Margiela or adults getting angry about luxury fashion spellings, these campaigns have gone down a treat online. 

SSENSE shared a series of clips on Instagram of kids taking part in a fashion-centered spelling bee. Participants had to spell out the names of brands, including Maison Margiela, Thom Browne and Eckhaus Latta, with context given when they asked for the designer to be used in a sentence. 

The prompts provided helped to reveal more information about a brand. For example, when a fashion spelling bee contestant asked how to use Collina Strada in a sentence, we heard, “That girl wearing full Collina Strada is giving hyperpop fairy in the best way possible.” Brand awareness is furthered by identifying how a label can fit into trends while showcasing a child wearing the clothing items, bringing Collina Strada’s fairy-tale take on girlhood uniforms to our attention. By using children and referring to the brand using light-hearted everyday language, fashion’s sometimes lofty perception is broken down and referenced in terms outside of the typical e-tailer lexicon. 

LOEWE also got in on the action, releasing a short film, Decades of Confusion, starring Dan Levy and Aubrey Plaza. With a few archive LOEWE pieces, including Fall/Winter 2022’s car dress, adding to the theatrics with hairstylist Michelle Ceglia on board, a playful spelling Bee unfolded. As each scene progressed, a series of characters continued to misspell the brand as the adjudicator revealed more information between wrong answers, telling us that it was a “luxury fashion House.” 

Jonathan Anderson is known for his humour-heavy, striking approach, often reflected in the nostalgia-infused designs that dance down the catwalk each season. This remedy helped to revive LOEWE from a leather brand favoured by Spanish royalty to the It House of luxury fashion when he took over as Creative Director in 2013. The Irish designer frequently reflects wider culture in his work and is able to switch between high art and pop culture with a creative sleight of hand that has earned him critical acclaim, including Designer of The Year at the 2023 British Fashion Awards.

In LOEWE’s spelling bee-centered campaign, Hollywood actors are employed to playfully strengthen brand awareness. Anderson often dresses movie stars, from Dame Maggie Smith to Taylor Russel, and working with them feels inherent to the world he has built around LOEWE. By showing his protagonists getting the spelling wrong, we see a luxury fashion House showing a lighter and less serious side, reflective of Anderson’s ability to speak to the wider cultural moment. 

Corteiz got involved through a fast-edited video campaign where friends and family pronounce its name in their own way. Is it “C-o-r-t-e-z” or “C-o-r-t-a-z-e?” The answer isn’t clear in the video, but that doesn’t matter. The ad finishes with a collective chanting of the brand’s motto, “Corteiz Rules the World,” helping further the sense of community integral to the London streetwear label. By showcasing the range of people interested in the brand, from rappers to parents and rapper parents like KwolleM, we are able to identify even more with the world of Corteiz. This will no doubt further the unwavering loyalty shown to the label by its army of fans and only add to the buzz around the West London imprint. Bravo Clint.  

Not only do these playful campaigns make high-end fashion and streetwear labels seem more human, but they also tap into a playful discourse around the spelling and punctuation of these brands. These campaigns mirror the kinds of jovial discussions you might have with a mate or a family member who mispronounces the brand. On top of this, they also help present information about a brand’s origins, key pieces, and motto in a playful, easy-to-digest format. 

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