Brand names come from myriad sources. Here are some names with unusual provenances:
- HaaT, a clothing line designed by Issey Miyake protegée Makiko Minagawa, is said to take its name from a Sanskrit word meaning "village market." (That's the company's story; I haven't been able to check its accuracy.) The quirky capitalization, of course, is pure Brand-ese. Minagawa was Miyake's textile director for 30 years before launching HaaT in 2000, and her skill is evident in the innovative fabrics and subtle sculptural quality of her garments. They have a global-village-market quality, too: each collection is inspired by a different world culture. As a name, HaaT suggests "hot" ... although the official story is that it "sounds like heart." Well, if you have a non-rhotic accent. I couldn't find a HaaT website, but I did see the clothing at the San Francisco Saks Fifth Avenue store.* And I dug up an interesting July 2006 article in the Honolulu Advertiser. And I found this photo on the Issey Miyake main website, which shows—on the left; you'll have to squint a bit—some of the clothes and the inventive rendering of the HaaT logo:
- Breggo Cellars is a winery on a former sheep ranch in California's Anderson Valley, just north of Boonville. In the 19th century, Boonville was so isolated that it developed its own folk language, Boontling, based on English, Gaelic, Spanish, and the local Indian language, Pomoan. Breggo, the Boontling word for "sheep," comes from Spanish borrego, a yearling lamb. (Borrego also turns up in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, near San Diego, and in the Kia Borrego, "a new kind of luxury SUV." Perfect for the pastor and his flock.) As far as I can tell, Breggo Cellars is the only Boontling brand name in existence. Want to learn basic Boontling? Here's a vocabulary list.
- Most of this Chicago Tribune article about real-estate naming is stale news. ("You must name the subdivision after at least two things you have removed," jokes real estate consultant Steve Hovney. Haha.) But there are surprises in the last few grafs. X/O, a condo development in Chicago's South Loop, stands for "eXtraOrdinary," according to its builder. Model homes in a Joliet subdivision are named for female historical figures: Aldrich, Murdock, and Webster. (No further explanation given.) And in Mokena, Flaherty Homes went for the awwww factor: models are named after the owners' grandchildren. They include the Caellin, the Liam, and the Siobhan.
* Don't bother to search the Saks site; you won't find it. A salesperson told me that only the San Francisco Saks carries the line, which is so stunning and unusual it literally stopped me in my tracks as I rounded a corner to the escalator. I lingered long enough to try on a soft chocolate-brown knitted vest with five head-size openings and a drawstring on one side. It was fabulous. Trust me.