Gloria Vanderbilt

When they first launched in 1976, Gloria Vanderbilt jeans had which animal on their iconic logo?

And the answer is: swan.

Evelyn Floret/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images

Gloria Vanderbilt jeans were the first "designer" jeans, featuring the designer's signature and a white swan embroidered into the jean pockets. As a model, painter, and heir to a railroad fortune, Vanderbilt used her celebrity to help build her fashion design empire. One of her sons, Anderson Cooper, is a news anchor on CNN.

Vanderbilt began building her empire of jeans out of a simple assignment: "create a great fit jean." As a young entrepreneur, socialite and heiress, Vanderbilt's sights inevitably landed on the world of fashion in the early '70s with a mildly unsuccessful venture into home products and dresses. It wasn't until she met and signed a denim deal with the clothing manufacturer Mohan Murjani that she became known as the queen of jeans.

Vanderbilt was met with enormous success upon the release of her 1976 denim line. Beyond marketing that appealed uniquely form-fitting jeans to women, Vanderbilt left her mark in a new way in the fashion industry: with a signature and an embroidered swan logo on the back pocket of the jeans. While commonplace now, Vanderbilt's name-branding on clothing placed at a higher price was revolutionary at the time, and set the industry forth in the practice of designer clothing.

By 1979, Vanderbilt had solidified her icon status in the fashion industry and built a denim empire that generated her own substantial wealth. The Vanderbilt brand remains a deeply influential player in the fashion scene and in the world of jeans today.

Watch the advertisement below to see the appeal of 1980 Vanderbilt denim.


Question of the Day Mobile App
The Drake Passage
Fata Morgana
You've successfully subscribed to Question of the Day
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to Question of the Day
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.