Our story

From the origin to the myth

The start of an adventure

To express what makes Vespa so revolutionary and innovative, requires beginning at the origin of the brand. Focusing on the year 1946 – when Vespa was founded – reveals all the elements which continue to make this scooter an icon of style and innovation. Quite simply, over the years, Vespa has been able to engage with the zeitgeist, no matter the era, and often in a unique way.

The fashion of moving

Beginning in the mid 1960s, the mass media began to use the term Mod, associating it with anything deemed to be popular, fashionable, or modern. “Mod” was closely connected to the youth movement of Mods or Modernists – and inspired subsequent movements beyond the UK, where it was born. With their modern aesthetic and political charge, the Mods acted as a mouthpiece for the youth’s desire for change. They used the road as their stage and looked to Italy as a reference point, both in terms of style and mobility.

A natural harmony

It was the ecological awareness of the 1970s that issued forth one of the most famous and recognizable advertising campaigns – Gilberto Filippetti's sardomobili (a nickname for cars)– which light-heartedly makes fun of the loud sounds made by cars, which are not as quiet as Vespa. n 1972, the colourful “four-wheeled sardines” campaign was born, depicting cars stacked up in garages where they are “not enjoying the sun,” “stealing the air,” “always competing,” “not loving others,” “shouting at the top of their horns” and “stealing time.” The campaign show, conversely, that “those who Vespa(ed)” continued to triumph, by “shining,” “breathing,” singing the praises of peace, being respected, “whispering” instead of shouting and “coming in first.”

Freedom to go your own way

Vespa has always “taken to the road” when it comes to change, whether in terms of mobility or style. The 1980s, more than any other decade, saw women become the main riders of Vespa. As part of a larger revolution, women took charge of their fashion by using clothing to express themselves through athleisure outfits with super-charged colours. This was the decade when women’s fashion aimed to provoke and turn heads. Fashion from the 80s embodied excess, exaggeration and extravagance and used irreverence and cleverness in its visual composition. Vespa’s own similar spirit of innovation and audacity naturally lead to collaborations that played with the scooter’s vibrant colours.

Inspiration fuelled by design

To celebrate Vespa’s 50th Anniversary, a new ET model was issued in the 1990s to give a renewed commitment to creativity which placed high-calibre graphic design at the centre of the brand’s advertising campaigns. These ads used simplicity, humour and Vespa’s simple geometry as the hallmark of its stylistic approach. Prior to the 90s, Vespa was still highly celebrated by artists of every kind. Because of its alignment with artists, it has naturally inspired creativity in those who have paid homage to Vespa in countless ways and throughout the decades. Though diverse, each collaboration centres on a play between the past and present, which often generates a unique and artful output.

Celebrating a new beginning

Since its founding in 1946, the path Vespa has travelled clearly expresses how the Vespa 75th model is more than a celebratory vehicle. Vespa has established itself as an innovative and revolutionary brand focused on encouraging a fun lifestyle. Historically, it has a connection with the Planet, strong ties to women, and has maintained a close connection with the world of art and creativity. To pay homage to this underlying creative spirit, Vespa 75th Anniversary Special Edition is dressed with a special livery to celebrate its 75th birthday – looking towards a future with unlimited potential. Vespa riders have chosen the brand as a vehicle of freedom and a projection of their predilection towards making their own rules, both in terms of mobility and lifestyle.