The baby name Qiana, very trendy during the late 1970s, can be traced back to a silk-like nylon fabric called Qiana.
DuPont put Qiana on the market in 1968. The company told TIME Magazine that the exotic-sounding name was simply “a computerized combination of random letters.” (In fact the company had started with a computer-generated list of 6,500 five-letter non-words and, after a full year of research and testing, finally settled on “Qiana.”)
Qiana first appeared on the SSA’s baby name list in 1970:
- 1975: 88 girls named Qiana
- 1974: 50 girls named Qiana
- 1973: 25 girls named Qiana
- 1972: 9 girls named Qiana
- 1971: 16 girls named Qiana
- 1970: 6 girls named Qiana [debut]
- 1969: unlisted
It didn’t become trendy until the second half of the decade, though.
Qiana became a popular fabric for disco clothing, especially faux-silk men’s shirts. According to one writer, “Qiana materialized disco…as flannel materialized grunge.” Remember John Travolta as Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever (1977)? The black shirt he wore beneath that iconic white suit was made of Qiana.
The popularity of the fabric boosted the popularity of the name — so much so that Qiana managed to rank among the 1,000 most popular girl names in the nation 5 consecutive times:
- 1982: 96 girls named Qiana
- 1981: 159 girls named Qiana [ranked 939th]
- 1980: 209 girls named Qiana [ranked 789th]
- 1979: 331 girls named Qiana [ranked 556th]
- 1978: 370 girls named Qiana [ranked 509th]
- 1977: 251 girls named Qiana [ranked 649th]
- 1976: 115 girls named Qiana
- Jarrett, Michael. Sound Tracks: A Musical ABC. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1998.
- “Textiles: Enter Qiana.” TIME 5 Jul. 1968.