Is Nasty Gal Really Named After A Song? Netflix's 'Girlboss' Depicts The Company's Beginnings
Netflix's new show Girlboss follows the early career of Sophia Amoruso, the real-life founder and CEO of every twenty-something's favorite online retailer, Nasty Gal. Amoruso, then a directionless 22-year-old, first sold thrift store finds in an eBay store she called "Nasty Gal Vintage," eventually turning that into the multimillion-dollar empire that Nasty Gal wound up as at its peak back in 2014. Now that there's a show delving into the company's history, many viewers are wondering — is Nasty Gal really named after a song?
Nasty Gal, according to its site's About Us page, "was founded by Sophia Amoruso 10 years ago in a tiny San Francisco apartment stacked with killer vintage, a single laptop and an eBay account" and eventually became a retailer of "new clothing, shoes and accessories under our own label (and a few others), all for gals who’ve got the confidence to just be themselves." Based on the brand's social media presence (mainly its Instagram), it's clear that the company's image is rooted deeply in pop culture. For that reason, it's no surprise that Nasty Gal is named after a song — specifically, a 1975 album and song by funk and soul singer Betty Davis, the wife of Jazz legend Miles Davis.
Here's the song in question:
The raunchy-sounding name of the company really encapsulates where Amoruso's head was at when, in her early 20s, she started the company as an eBay store and honestly never considered that it would become such a massive (and massively successful) endeavor. Speaking of the offense some might take at the company's name, Amoruso told the LA Times in 2012, "If it's a big shock when you hear it, you're probably not our customer anyway." In the same interview, she confirmed that she had named the company after "style muse" Davis. Though the About Us has since changed, at the time of the 2012 interview, the clothing company's website called Davis "the patron saint of badass women [...] known for her unapologetically sexy funk music which comprises our vision of femininity — complete with lamé platform thigh-high boots." Nasty Gal's Mixcloud page still features that same blurb.
It will be interesting to see whether Girlboss addresses Amoruso's deliberation process in figuring out what to name her burgeoning company. If I had to guess, based on the version of Amoruso introduced in the new show's trailer, I'd say we'll almost definitely see that moment. The sassy, wise-cracking main character (played by Britt Robertson) seems all but guaranteed to deliver some kind of rant-y monologue about why a figure like Davis is her life icon.