One of the very first questions we get asked as co-designers is "Which one of you is Edith?" This is the story of how Edith Élan came to be.
It occurred to us that we should probably let people in on how-in-the-world Gretchen and I decided on “Edith Élan” for our brand name. It is a very European-sounding name for an American bridal designer after all.
First things first though. For those that don’t know us, neither Edith nor Élan are anywhere to be found in our names, nor are either family names. Now, for the short version of how it all went down.
After weeks of debating, pages full of scribbles, hours of researching online, and multiple Skype conferences we had no decision. NOTHING! Call it writer’s block, call it designer’s block...it still meant the same thing: we were already designing our first collection for the (no name) bridal brand. During one of our in-person meetings in Chicago, we called for reinforcements. Enter our wonderful friends, Sam Crews, and of course...wine!
Brainstorming for our up and coming bridal brand name went something like this:
What is élan?
After using Scrabble letters in an attempt to create words from our initials to no avail (we would like to buy several vowels, please!) or that using our childhood street names were NOT going to work (“Poinsettia Rhododendron” ...uh???), Sam started looking for synonyms from all of the words in the lists we’d made so far. That’s when we discovered élan, which according to Google.com means:
energy, style, and enthusiasm.
synonyms: flair, style, panache, confidence, dash, éclat; energy, vigor, vitality, liveliness, brio, esprit, animation, vivacity, zest, verve, spirit, pep, sparkle, enthusiasm, gusto, eagerness, feeling, fire;
informal: pizzazz, zing, zip, vim, oomph
Even in the world of creative entrepreneurship there's love and heartbreak, and love again. Enter Edith.
ÉLAN... IT’S PERFECT!!! WE’RE IN LOVE! WE DO!
And then BAM! Time for the heartbreak: another designer had already taken élan for her label. Back to the drawing board we went.
We still were in love with élan, and we could find no substitute that came close. Then, with a stroke of inspiration Gretchen mentioned Hayward Hall - the building we met at in school. Sam googled “Hayward Hall,” and wouldn’t you know that there was such a lady named Edith Hayward Hall. She was a pretty incredible lady: one of the first women in archaeology, mother, museum curator, professor, and editor. A modern woman in an era gone by. To say the least, while she had nothing to do with the world of fashion, she had élan for archaeology.
And just like Ms. Hayward Hall, élan is what we want in our brides. Edith Élan brides possess style and confidence, they exude a joie de vivre, they're enthusiastic about their life’s passion and feel an eagerness to do it. And more so, élan is what we want our designs to convey. So with some Scrabble letters in hand we decided on:
A perfect blend of modern and vintage in wedding dresses that are effortlessly feminine, charming, and sophisticated.
Created for the bride with élan.