Italian luxury clothing designer Miuccia Prada
Long before my love of names, my decision to start a blog, and the hunt for perfect names for friends and family, was a little girl growing up surrounded by Italians. I was always meeting another Anna, Maria, Silvana, Lena, Rose, etc. Occasionally, I'd meet someone with a name I hadn't heard before, such as Domenica, Claudia or Antonella, but they were likely named after a grandparent. But I would think to myself, there has to be a break in tradition at some point. A daughter named Mariana, named after her grandmother, shouldn't be expected to name her daughter Mariana as well, right? But then, that's not how Italians do things. Not the ones I know, at least. And then, the way I was raised, I can't help but want to reuse a name, because of the memories. It's a constant battle of family names, good memories, and the image of a chic little Italian baby eating chocolate gelato as she walks down the beach of Chiaia di Luna, vs the name that I found on my own, that sparkles the way a diamond would if you found it in your own backyard, that gives me the same feeling as each of my own childhood memories from the old neighborhood. Isolated memories of a specific person vs the ideal of a child being completely unique and owning the name that so few (if any) bear. That is my personal dilemma. The solution often seems to put tradition in the middle spot.
Which brings me to Miuccia (mee-uu-cha). Many will recognize the first name of fashion house Prada's owner. Many would steer clear of such a well known name. Many would think it's trendy, or pretentious. But there are others, like me, who see the name and see Italy. I don't see the most well known namesake, I see a gorgeous, underused Italian name. I see an opportunity to both break tradition and keep tradition. Without being name-specific, nor honoring a single person, Miuccia can be a "culture honor" name. It can be the name that gives you instant imagery, an instant feeling that you hope others see. But Miuccia isn't a proper Italian name - instead, it is a nickname for Maria, "star of the sea," one of the most well known names in the world. Mariuccia and Marianina have been traditional nicknames as well, and pet forms of Maria. Miuccia remains practically unheard of in the U.S, with no recorded people given this name.
I suppose the reason why I broke away from my usual styling of posts today is because this name and the way Miuccia Prada looks reminds me of a ton of memories from my childhood. Some of the clothes I've spotted her in strongly resemble things my grandmother wore, her physical appearance reminds me of someone who was very special to me, and the magical vibe of her name somehow reminds me of my mother.