Founder's Diary #2 - "So how is it pronounced again?"
"So is it [vay], is it [ve-eye], is it [viy]?". These are questions that people have stated more times than I can count since the inception of VEII[vay]. For the first few months of building this brand, I used to be very bothered when people mispronounced the brand name. I felt I had said it aloud so many times that you had to go out of your way to say it in any other way. But then I would remind myself that I am a hypocrite because technically, my pronunciation of Veii wasn't correct in the first place. You see, Veii is actually pronounced [vee-yahy]. I learned this during CLAS170, an intro to greek and roman mythology class taught at the University of Maryland.
I like to think that I am pretty knowledgeable about all things greek and roman mythology. I have always had an affinity for the subject, so when finalizing my fall schedule, I picked CLAS170 thinking it would be an easy elective. Little did I know, not only was my professor a fiery enthusiast about this subject, but she also wasn't the biggest fan of having football players in her class. She assigned us so many readings in the first week you would have thought we were preparing to give a dissertation. I was determined not to take any Ls that semester, so I locked in and took my talents to Sparknotes for detailed summaries of these scriptures. During my perusing, I stumbled on Veii, a city located near the west coast of central Italy and the wealthiest city of the Etruscan League. To be honest, I didn't read much else after that because, in my head, they had a cool name, and they were the richest, and that was all I needed to know.
*2 years later* When I started thinking of names for my brand, I knew I wanted to avoid being corny and not force a name into existence. So I continued with my typical day-to-day life until one afternoon, I was sitting in study hall, and my teammate Jacquille walked in. Before he walked past me, my other teammate motioned Jacquille over to his desk and called him by his last name, Veii. At that moment, a lightbulb turned on in my head. I walked over to where Jacquille was sitting, and I said "this might sound crazy bro, but I'm starting a clothing line, and it's going to be called Veii." My other teammate started laughing, but Jacquille looked me directly in my eye and said, "do it bro" and from there, Veii was born.
My thought process was simple. Veii was a prosperous city and the richest in its own right, so I wanted to attribute that prosperity to my brand and its future success. However, I didn't want to copy the name entirely, so I took the pronunciation of Veii[vee-yahy] and made it Veii[vay] because to me, the latter sounded cooler and more concise as a one-syllable word.
When people try to pronounce Veii today, I let them run with whatever they come up with because it's not about the name; it's about what the word represents. Whether you say Fogo de Chão[Fogo De Chow] or Fogo de Chão[Fo-go Dèe Shoun], you know when you enter that establishment, you're going to eat some good ass meat. PAUSE ⏸️