Posted by ESC on November 28, 2000
In Reply to: Designer Baby posted by Robert Dingwall on November 27, 2000
: Can anyone help with the early origins of this? Colleagues and I have tracked this back to an Observer headline in 1984
: but are interested to discover whether there are any earlier uses - it seems to be part of a pattern of mid-1980s coinages
: like 'designer dyke' in this database or 'designer drug' which I have found documented to 1983.
From: "Speaking Freely: A Guided Tour of American English from Plymouth Rock to Silicon Valley" by Stuart Berg Flexner and Anne H. Soukhanov (Oxford University Press, New York, 1997):
"In the 70s the emphasis was on designers as much as designs: people talked about 'designer clothes,' 'designer sweaters,' 'designer ties,' 'designer dresses,' 'designer perfumes,' 'designer sheets,' and 'designer towels.'"
In another section, it states that in the 1990s: ".a series of new 'designer drugs' (synthetically produced substances with a more 'glamorous' reputation) gained popularity."