Controversy abounds when Benetton is around. The brainchild of founder Luciano Benetton, the Italian company has shocked, disturbed, and inspired since 1965.
The “United Colors of Benetton” sold more than clothes, they sold an image of cultural diversity and acceptance with controversial ad campaigns promoting their international flavour.
The ads featured multi-racial models in festive togetherness wearing bright sweaters (the heart of Benneton) and other bright clothes. Kids and adults of all different colours, ethnicities and gender shared the page in universal understanding and joy . . . and they all wore Benetton.
Clothes were bright and bold, and the Benetton name became synonymous with European (and global) sophistication.
Benetton expanded into the perfume market with ‘Colours’ in 1988, and in 1991 they began promoting their notorious ads with a magazine (also called Colours), devoted to their multi-racial, multi-cultural message.
The company continued to expand with housewares, mineral water, condoms, car racing and everything in between.