Watch a video about France’s inexplicable 1966 key ring craze

Yes, France had a key ring craze. Key ring fans wore tchotchkes around their wrists, waists, and anywhere they could attach a ring.

If you want to ruin your image of Parisian chic, this is a great way to do it. In the late 60s, a key ring craze spread across France in an illogical frenzy. One paper reported that the key ring trend was so hot that convicts were being employed just to keep up with demand.

Apparently, everybody got into the key ring fad—shoe polish, mayonnaise, and instant coffee manufacturers all gave away key rings with their goods to try to boost sales. Even more bizarrely, the gimmick worked. The shoe polish manufacturer claimed to have sold three million tins in just a few months.

Start a Conversation

Have you ever had a key ring collection?