What’s in a Name?

Sometimes in trying to do something good, you end up doing things that aren’t great. Intention is important, but we’re all a part of this ever changing world, and we must always be willing to change and grow.  Being well intentioned in a vacuum is little better than being willfully ignorant, and when you learn better, you shouldn’t be too proud or fixed in your ways to do better. 

Before starting Unicorn Clothing, founder and owner Teri Evans traveled the world, lived abroad, and studied world cultures and philosophies. Unicorn Clothing was founded in 1973 and joined their first Renaissance Festival in 1978. Somewhere along the line between then and now Teri designed two of our most long lasting items: the Gypsy Blouse and the Gypsy Skirt.  When she designed and named them she wanted to tip her hat to the free-spirited, exotic, colorful, somewhat wild, anything but mundane Romani people that the items were modeled after. When she chose those names, for better or worse “Gypsy” was the best name available to refer to the culture of travelers that spans countries, continents, and centuries. 

But somewhere between then and now, it became apparent that “Gypsy” was more frequently used worldwide as a derogatory name; as a slur and an insult to an entire peoples. And we aren’t about that game.  At Unicorn Clothing we want to honor and embrace all cultures, now and throughout history. 

So we’ve decided it’s about time we renamed the Gypsy Blouse and the Gypsy Skirt (also commonly known as the Three-Tiered Skirt.) 

Most of our other women’s items have been given ladies’ names as a cute and concise way to differentiate them, and we wanted to bring these two items in line with the rest. So we decided the best way to continue to honor the culture that inspired them was to name them after notable Romani women. 

To that end, may we introduce you to the newly renamed, but perpetually well loved, Nina Blouse and Esma Skirt.  

The Nina Blouse is named after Nina Dudarova.  Born in Russia in the early 1900’s, Nina became a notable writer and scholar of Romani culture.  She was one of the first Roma women to become published, and boy did she publish a lot in her illustrious career. She wrote fiction, dictionaries, textbooks, and plays.  Nina is well deserving of the honor we can bestow upon her by naming our most popular peasant style blouse, previously known as the Gypsy Blouse, after her. 

The Esma Skirt is named after Esma Redzepova-Teodosievska. Esma was an incredible musician, dancer, vocalist, songwriter, and artist. For this, she was known as the Queen of the Gypsies during her extensive career as a performer. She brought Roma music and dance to pop culture with her fusion of western pop and traditional Roma and Macedonian musical styles. She too is a powerful woman and we are honored to name a skirt after her. 

We hope you’ll join us in welcoming these new names to our line up. It’s important to remain an active supporter of diversity and cultural celebration now and always.  

Thanks for growing with us all these years, and we look forward to seeing you in the lanes again soon enough. 

Until next time.

Erica

Prefer to listen rather than read? Find our Podcast Mane Street Chronicles on Spotify and enjoy our articles audibly instead!

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