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Oct 11, 2012

Vespa: from Hollywood to Bollywood.

Charlton Heston and Stephen Boyd and a Vespa Chariot 1958.

Piaggio launched its original iconic Vespa in India creating an exclusive segment for the brand.
Its style has been conquering the streets across the world for six decades now. Designed by Corradino D’Ascanio the man who designed the Italian helicopter.
The name is the Italian for wasp (from Enrico Piaggio’s exclamation: “It looks like a wasp!”) It actually recalls a wasp for the engine sound, the vehicle body shape and the steering rod resembled antennae. The design is inspired by pre – World War II Cushman scooters made in Nebraska (olive green scooters popular in Italy). Ordered originally by Washington as field transport for the paratroops and Marines.
The biggest sales promo ever was Hollywood. In 1952 Audrey Hepburn side-saddled Gregory Peck’s Vespa in the feature film Roman Holidays for a ride through Rome resulting in over 100,000 sales. In 1956 John Wayne dismounted his horse in favor of the two wheeler to get between takes on sets. Lucia Bosé and her husband, the matador Luis Miguel Dominguìn as well as Marlon Brando and Dean Martin and the entertainer Abbe Lane had become Vespa owners. William Wyler filmed Ben Hur in 1959 allowing Charlton Heston to abandon horse and chariot between takes to take a spin on the Vespa.
When Vespa celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1996 more than 15 million of the scooters had been sold worldwide. Other companies vied with Piaggio for market share but none came close to emulating the success or romance of Vespa.
Over the years Vespa has moved from being a mode of transport to a fashion accessory. However it has retained its core design and has only grown more stylish with time.
Piaggio felt that launching the Vespa as any other scooter would do injustice to its legacy. It deserved to be launched as a fashion brand. The campaign created by Meridian has been inspired by the product itself. The look has been designed keeping in mind its iconic style.

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