As we ladies know, shopping for a bra that fits properly requires advanced degrees in math, mechanical engineering, and patience. If it isn’t the weird size system (in the US, anyway) it’s the creepy salesman. And still we are doomed to a Sisyphean failure loop: 80 percent (or 85 percent or 99.9 percent) of women are Doing It Wrong, as we are repeatedly reminded.
So it’s encouraging to see a startup—based in Israel—dedicated to helping women find “a good bra that fits just right,” in the words of founder Orit Hashay.
If only they could have found a name that fits better than Brayola.
Cue the donkey.
The logo—nicely executed to resemble a lingerie label—does its darnedest to lift and separate the pink bra from the black yola. There are just two problems. First: Most of the time we’ll see the name in only one color. And second: In English, “-yola” is not a suffix. But “-ola” is, especially in commercial names. Its history goes back to Pianola (a mechanical piano invented in 1895 or 1896) and thence to Victrola (1905) and Crayola (1903, coined from craie, the French word for chalk, and ola from oleaginous).
And let’s not forget payola, supposedly coined from pay and Victrola and defined as the payment of cash or gifts in exchange for airtime.
Crayola, payola … Brayola. It’s really, really hard to get past a long-A sound in the first syllable.
And I wish I didn’t hear an echo of bresaola (breast-ola?), the Italian cured meat.
Brayola gets lots of love from loyalist commenters who visited a recent TechCrunch post. Good for them. But I must call it as I see it: The company name is either a cross-linguistic blunder or an attempt at humor that falls, well, flat. There’s nothing like the suggestion of bray to make you look like an ass.
If Ms. Orit Hashay had given me a call, I’d have said: “You’re in Israel, girlfriend! Name the company Bra Mitzvah!”