In 1930, a man named B. K. Murjani left India to start a clothing company in China.
The Murjani company was focused on manufacturing until the mid-1960s, when B.K.’s son Mohan joined and transitioned the company to designer brand development and marketing.
In 1977, Murjani teamed up with heiress Gloria Vanderbilt to launch one of the first designer jean brands, Gloria Vanderbilt.
The company poured a lot of money into building the brand. According to the Murjani Group website, Gloria Vanderbilt “was perhaps the first apparel brand to be advertised in marketing channels such as buses, phone booths and TV.” Gloria herself was featured in many of the television commercials.
By 1979, sales of GV jeans were massive.
In 1980, the company started using younger celebrities to endorse the brand. They put out print ads featuring baseball player Reggie Jackson and TV commercials featuring Blondie singer Debbie Harry.
We’ve already seen that advertisements (and especially TV commercials) have the power to influence baby name trends (e.g., Calizza, Dijonnaise), so it’s not surprising that 1980 is also the year the baby name Murjani debuted on the SSA’s baby name list:
1982: 6 baby girls named Murjani
1981: 10 baby girls named Murjani
1980: 8 baby girls named Murjani [debut]
Like Jordache, though, Murjani dropped off the list after only a few years.
I don’t know what the etymology of the surname Murjani is, but Mohan Murjani has been quoted as saying that he has “sometimes mistaken as an Italian because of [his] family name.”
Duttagupta, Ishani. “Indian style guru: Building global lifestyle brands.” Economic Times 15 May 2008.
Hellman, Peter. “Sic Transit Gloria.” New York Magazine 15 Feb. 1993: 34-41.
Many babies have been given the trendy name Cohen in the last decade.
One of these babies was born earlier this month to Halifax filmmaker Rohan Fernando and his wife. How was this particular baby Cohen named? The decision was relationship-inspired:
The baby’s name is partially a tribute to the Sri Lankan-born director’s second date with Carolle, the artistic director of Mocean Dance, seeing poet balladeer Leonard Cohen at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium.
They also liked that the name Cohen is similar to the names Rohan and Mohan (Rohan’s father’s name).
A reader named Carin recently e-mailed me. She and her husband are expecting a baby in December, and they’d like help coming up with a name. Carin says:
We live in England, but I’m Swedish and my husband is of Indian background (born in England). We’d like to find a name that’s got Indian or Scandinavian background, but is still easy to pronounce in English. At the moment we’ve come up with Siri (Swedish) or Millie/Mili for a girl, and Alek or Sameer for boy. However, they don’t feel completely right! If you have any suggestions, I’d be very grateful!
I like that Carin and her husband are zeroing in on short, simple names. I think that makes a lot of sense in this case. Here are some similar suggestions:
(For each gender, Swedish names are on the left and Indian names are on the right.)
What other names can you come up with?
Update, 6/03 – The baby girl is here! Check the comments to find out what her name is…