Catchword name review: TechStyle Fashion GroupAs any teenager will tell you, coming of age and growing up often involves re-inventing yourself with new duds. Which is just what happened to JustFab. As the innovative clothing retailer created more and more trendy fashion lines and sub-brands, they realized they had grown too big for their name’s original britches.

JustFab had been readily conferring the Fab prefix (cutely short for both fabulous and fabric) like a trusty sibling hand-me-down to sub-brands FabKids and Fabletics, and had created ShoeDazzle and other lines along the way as well. But since they showed no signs their growth spurt was over, they decided they needed was a new name that suggested the breadth of brands they carried and hinted at their secret to success: their membership-driven and tech-centered method of delivering the latest fashion and style to consumers.

In my house, when we outgrow our britches, we make them into cut-offs. JustFab could have made jorts and gone with simply Fab – staying true to their jeans in some form. Or, they could have ditched the jeans for slacks and made a corporate, down-to-business descriptive name for the umbrella company to let their portfolio of sub-brands shine.

InCatchword name review: TechStyle Fashion Groupstead, they went with TechStyle Fashion Group. Is this ambitious name clean and pressed, or might it have been a little accident in their identity pants?

There’s a lot to unravel here. TechStyle is a subtle but exact homonym for textile, and realizing that more or less knocked my socks off. It brings to mind what musical theater/lyrical genius Stephen Sondheim notes in his book Finishing the Hat: rhymes that don’t share the same letter patterns at the end feel much more exciting to the listener (or even reader) than rhymes that share suffixes or endings. So, fool and cruel are much more exciting than fool and cool or tool. You can see it here – the fact that TechStyle is a perfect homonym but looks so different is just fabulous. It is the biggest asset to the name.

But, TechStyle is really dominated by Tech and hardly balanced by Style or even textile once you see it. Which is why, of course, they added Fashion Group to the name. Fashion Group, I would say, is like a sturdy pair of suspenders that allow TechStyle to function. It’s a long name and the wedding of tech and fashion in the name feels blunt, like jamming two incongruous puzzle pieces together, but all together it gets their point across and captures a balance between tech and fashion. (It should be noted, however, that puns of that sophistication would not hold up in international markets, if they had plans to use that as the face of their brand in a non-English speaking area.)

It’s quite a clever name, but not necessarily intuitive, so I net out thinking that though TechStyle Fashion Group wouldn’t be elegant enough for a consumer-facing fashion brand, as a umbrella company, it isn’t horrible.  We shall see if the name ends up in the thrift store in a few months.

JustFab has a new name, TechStyle Fashion Group. Fashion-forward pun or forced faux pas?