Tue, May 14, 13 Arrow Uniforms

When we create an item at Arrow, we often give it a name. As well as making the clothing easy to identify, a name injects personality.

Picking a name can cause plenty of debate at Arrow, and sometimes a potential name can be scuppered because someone argues it has unsuitable connotations.

A name is such an important feature. Think of your own name. Imagine if you were called a number—how would that work? Using an alpha numeric formula, as Des I could be 4519. Or, for Desmond, 45191315144. I’m not sure I like that.

It certainly helps to be succinct. Some Arrow names are self-explanatory: Cargo Pants and Walk Shorts, Worker Trousers, Pulltop Pants and Easyfit Pants have all worked well over the years. Other names evoke the class we expect of them: Paris, Milan, London, Dallas, Texas and Ritz have all been extremely popular.

Other names reflect Arrow staff, or our friends. Some have lasted a long time, while others have been and gone. Leah, Cassia, Anne and Aire all still work; while Penny, Sarah, Janine, and Suzy go on, year after year.

We’ve sometimes used Te Reo Maori to invoke emotion: Omahu is cool to wear, Aroha is a style to be loved, Tui brings energy and harmony.

As you go through town it’s fantastic to see people strolling along wearing Arrow styles of the past, such as Jean (think pintucks), Fleur and Belle (floral prints) and Kirsten (stripes and big buttons). It’s very satisfying to see people getting such long-term pleasure from our effort. Still, even great uniforms do need to be updated and refreshed!

Other names you never see any more. What happened to Sharon, Julie, Meri, Rebecca, Bettie and Betsy (the mini skirt version)? And what about Pam and Daisy, two skirts that complemented each other superbly. If I saw any of these styles, I would definitely remember them, and think of the years they came from.

But one name I can’t bear to see is the old Louise tunic we sold 30 years ago. Those stripes still make me shudder!