Over the past year or so, several young, attractive Brits that go by the lovely name Poppy have surfaced in New York society. Herewith, our weekly guide to keeping all the Poppys straight!
At first, the name Poppy, so sweet and lovely, seemed like one of those first names—like Tinsley or Beyonce—where no last name was necessary. But once publicists and blogs realized that the floral moniker in fact belonged to not one, but several young women, it became increasingly difficult to keep track of all the Poppys.
For our first installment, we thought we’d introduce Poppy de Villeneuve, a British socialite and photographer living in New York, who’s most often confused with another British socialite and model named Poppy Delevigne.
“I do often get confused particularly with Poppy Delevigne as the spelling of our name is so similar,” Ms. de Vileneuve told the Daily Transom. “It seems a little ridiculous, but people cannot believe there is more than one Poppy in New York!”
Ms. de Villeneuve and Ms. Delevigne even attended the same school—Bedales in West Sussex—and Ms. de Villeneuve has also photographed Ms. Delevigne for a British jeans company.
Even the British press seems to have trouble telling these two Poppys apart; this photo is actually of Ms. Delevigne, the model, not Ms. de Villeneuve, as the caption would indicate. For us here in New York, this is further complicated by the presence of other British Poppys, including publicist Poppy Edmonds, set designer Poppy Bartlett, actress Poppy Montgomery and the fictional socialite Poppy Lifton, the actress Tamara Feldman‘s character on the popular CW series Gossip Girl.
Ms. de Villeneuve, 29, is the daughter of Justin de Villeneuve, a fashion photographer who is credited with discovering Twiggy, and Jan de Villeneuve, a model. Ms. de Villeneuve briefly tried on modeling herself, but now mostly shoots for magazines like Vogue and Dazed and Confused. At the end of May, she will be showing some of her works at the Gallery of the Soho Grand Hotel. And while Ms. Delevigne is often spotted at more uptown functions, Ms. de Villeneuve is often seen downtown among friends like jewelry designer Waris Ahluwalia and artist Hope Atherton.
According to Ms. de Villeneuve, the sudden popularity of the name among 20-something British girls is a generational thing in England.
“Flower names in general were very popular in the late ’70s and early ’80s in London,” she explained. “A very famous chef, Jamie Oliver, has too little kids called Poppy and Daisy so there are now thousands of little Poppys in England!” (Ms. de Villenueve’s older sister is named Daisy.)
Of course, there are the expected jokes that people make when they first meet Ms. de Villeneuve.
“Many [people] say things like, ‘Oh, hippy parents,’ or like pappy, a Mexican grandpa, or heroin, like, ‘Yeah, I get it, your name is like heroin,’” she said. “So the fun is endless, but people remember it, which is helpful.”
Check back for the next Poppy on Monday, April 20.
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