Netflix’s new series Girlboss is, at its heart, an origin story for infamous self-described girlboss Sophia Amoruso and the company she founded and eventually left, Nasty Gal. And no origin story is complete without revealing how its heroine, or in this case, antiheroine, settled on the name that would make her famous. Girlboss attempts to reveal the story behind Nasty Gal’s moniker in the episode “Thank You, San Francisco.”
The season 1 installment is centered around TV Sophia’s first official hangout session with her drummer-cute would-be-boyfriend Shane (Johnny Simmons). While Shane considers the day a date, Sophia (Britt Robertson) sees it as a way to eventually figure out the perfect name for her still-unnamed eBay vintage clothing store. We told you she’s selfish sometimes.
In full wooing mode, Shane manages to a prize out of a claw machine and hands his trophy over to Sophia. It’s a Rubik’s cube. The mogul-in-training immediately begins yelling, “This is it. The name of my store… Rubik’s Vintage. Think about it. It’s colorful and complicated. A total mindfuck to figure out. It’s me!”
While she does have a point, we’ve never heard of Rubik’s Vintage, so what is going on?
Minutes later on a bus, Sophia realizes the name isn’t “special” enough and ends up back at cube one. As usual, the girlboss finishes her epiphany by saying some rude things to Shane and running off the bus like she didn’t just insult him. Sophia marches right into a club where a spectacular drag queen is performing. She’s singing none other than Betty Davis’s 1975 hit, “Nasty Gal.”
Sophia ditches Shane to enjoy the performance as close to the stage as possible without getting on it herself and tossing the queen Foxxy Roxxy on the floor. I would say Sophia is dancing, but it’s more than that. It looks like the song is literally taking over her body. By the time the song ends, the fashionista is screaming with joy and running out of the club. Seconds later, Nasty Gal Vintage is born.
While this version is pretty colorful and sweat soaked, the real Sophia, who executive produces Girlboss, actually did name her business after Ms. Davis’s retro track. In the second chapter of Amoruso’s memoir #Girlboss, she explains she chose the name to be a “contrarian” in comparison to all the mega-bohemian vintage stores populated eBay at the time. “I thought I was just picking a name for an eBay store, but it turned out that I was actually infusing the entire brand with not just my spirit, but the spirit of this incredible woman,” she writes of the platform shoe-loving, ahead-of-her-time Davis.
We guess we should all be glad Amoruso went with “Nasty Gal,” as opposed to another Davis song like “Shoo-B-Doop And Cop Him.” That would take forever to type out in an address bar.
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