We come across hundreds of brand names on a daily basis, but we rarely stop to wonder what they mean or where they came from. OPI, eos, and Cos are all brands that easily roll off our tongues in conversation, but you’d be surprised how many of them are actually acronyms or initialisms (our copy editor kindly pointed out the difference) with “secret” meanings behind them. After scouring the web to figure out the backstory behind these brands, many of them make a lot more sense. But we’re not going to lie, a few sound way cooler in acronym form (looking at you M.A.C.)
We present you the ultimate guide to all the acronyms and initialisms of our fave fashion and beauty brands. Get ready to have your mind blown.
A.P.C: Atelier de Production et de Création
Its longform is definitely a mouthful , so we can see why Tunisian-French designer Jean Touitou refers to his Parisian cool brand with just three letters.
GHD: Good hair day
Simple and right to the point. What more can you ask of a brand?
COS: Collection of Style
As the older (and dare we say, chicer) sister of H&M, we think its full name pretty much sums up the brand perfectly.
OPI: Odontorium Products Inc.
The scientific-sounding name comes from the fact that our nail-polish go-to started as a dental equipment company.
ELF: Eyes lips face
Nothing says efficient branding like a name that tells you exactly what their products are made for.
ACNE Studios: Ambition to Create Novel Expressions
Jonny Johansson, one of the founders behind the Stockholm fashion brand, once said that he came up with this name because he liked the idea of “approaching a difficult world” and making it cool.
M.A.C: Make-up Art Cosmetics
While you may have thought that the cutting-edge brand would have some super-cool reasoning behind the three famous letters, the brand name goes back to its core identity, a fusion of makeup and art.
EOS: Evolution of Smooth
…which is basically the brand’s mantra.
UNIF: Ur Not In Fashion
Rumour has it the idea behind this Cali brand is that it appeals to everyone, even those who are not in fashion, hence the name.
SK-II: Secret Key
The acronym references the skincare brand’s hero, Pitera, an ingredient founded by Japanese scientists at a sake brewery. The company believes it’s the key to their anti-aging products being such a success/ must-have.
A.L.C: Andrea Lieberman Collection
This ultra cool brand is actually just named after the designer herself.
OCC: Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics
We know it’s on their packaging, but just in case you’ve never looked.
IT Cosmetics Innovative Technology
Developed with the help of plastic surgeons, its makeup and skincare products boast advanced and result-driven formulas, living true to its name.
This one is tricky. While many have wrongly referred the cosmetics brand as N-Y-X, it is actually pronounced like Nicks. It’s named after the Greek goddess of night.