What’s In A Name?


If I got £1 each time someone asked me “where does the name Mademoiselle Robot comes from?” in an interview, I would be a millionaire… Or at least I would have £5000 by now. I suppose you could say I brought this on myself when I came up with this particular name.

I wish I actually had a great story behind this name, unfortunately I don’t. Like many things to do with this blog, it was a happy accident! The name “Mademoiselle Robot” first landed in my head during a heavy brainstorming session circa 2002 in Paris. I was DJing in some indie clubs then and needed a name to put on flyers. Because of my slightly nerdy inclinations and video-games habits, I wanted to have the word “robot” somewhere. Of course at the time, it was a French “robot” (pronounced ʀɔbo). The “mademoiselle” part came from being an actual mademoiselle at the time. Once this name popped up in my head, I was satisfied that it sounded a bit like a Stereolab album (hello Miss Modular) and I also didn’t really want to keep thinking about a name so I just went with it. It was also the perfect DJ name for me as my mastery of the Robot (dance) in the DJ booth was legendary by that point. The stars aligned and Mademoiselle Robot was born. 

I later kept the name for online purposes, sometimes shortening it to MelleRobot (as it is now on most my social channels). So when I decided to start the blog, I didn’t have to think twice about a name, I just called it MelleRobot.Blogspot.com and then bought MademoiselleRobot.com. There really wasn’t much branding or thinking involved. Ten years on, I am happy about this choice because it has given me infinite freedom.

When I started the blog, I didn’t have a plan for it (still don’t). All I wanted was a platform to write on, the name was irrelevant. This site has been a personal journal, a vintage oriented fashion blog, a fashion and style blog and obviously also the blog you know today, focusing more on lifestyle matters. The fact my name had nothing to do with any of those topics allowed me to be very fluid with the content I created over the years. I think if I had picked a name that had more direct ties to fashion, style, lifestyle or travel, I would have probably closed down shop a while ago.

Take for example the switch from vintage inspired style to what the site is now. This came about because I had actually become so bored of vintage shopping and thrifting I didn’t want to cover it anymore. Imagine if my site had been called “something-something vintage” I would have been the prisoner of my own content and the only way to change direction would have been to do a total rebranding, maybe even start a brand new site. Instead, I was able to keep my archives (be proud of all your content!) and just evolve. I changed my layout a million times, I changed my logo, my photography evolved and the topics I cover are different now, but the name remains the same.

Names are important, but they aren’t everything. Content and personality are everything. The user experience on your site is important, photography is important. Your name is only a vessel, something to write on a business card. It will sound silly when you first come up with it, but once you see it day in and day out, it will become part of the furniture. The most important thing when picking a name is to pick something you can stretch and evolve as needed… Wonder what Emily has to say about this? Head over to FFG!

See below some of my blog’s incarnations since 2007! The LOLs are on me, people…

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