There’s also a nostalgic feel to this construction. “At some point in its early history, I’d guess the germ of that trend was an allusion to the common practice in 17th/18th/19th centuries of naming your company after its principals (e.g. Gieves & Hawkes, Dege & Skinner, Marks & Spencer, etc.),” says Simon. “Could be some of your fashion brands want to allude to handcraft, to pre-industrial or non-industrial processes.”

Take Rag & Bone, the clothing brand that gets its monicker from the old practice of the rag-and-bone man who would collect unwanted household goods and sell them. Many of these companies are focused on very modern products, such as technical clothing, but some say they want their name to have a “classic” feeling.

Of course, if this naming construction eventually renders them undifferentiated in the minds of customers, that’s a problem. While a name has strengths and weaknesses, the company’s actions are more important, says Simon. “The name is an opportunity; you have to use it,” he says.

Smart & true.

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