Last Updated on May 11, 2021 by Roxi B
“Diamonds are a girl’s best friend”, Marilyn Monroe once quipped. The many adored movie stars with beautiful Bulgari jewels would surely agree.
A History of Bulgari Brilliant Jewelry
Italy’s greatest jeweler, Bulgari had humble origins. Its founder, Sotirios, came from the tiny Greek village of Kallarrytes in the area of Epirus, near the Albanian border. The son of a family of silversmiths, Sotirios was more ambitious than his predecessors. When he started his business, this area was still ruled by the Ottomans and these were very troubled times.
When the Russians and the Turks went to war in the Balkans and the silver trade collapsed, Sotirios decided to leave. At first, he set up a shop in Corfu, but he was then advised to go to Italy where his business could be even more successful.
He opened a shop in Naples but became disillusioned after it got robbed, and then he left again. This time, Soutirios decided to head for the capital, Rome, where he sold his silver objects from a small stall in the Via Sistina.
Sotirios also decided to chase the exclusive trade at San Moritz, the beautiful holiday resort in the mountains favored by the wealthy. He worked extremely long hours in the summers designing and making his silver jewelry.
Later he became successful enough to open a store in the Via Condotti in 1905 with his two sons, Constantino and Giorgio. This is still their flagship store. He called this, ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’ after Dickens’s famous novel. Here the Bulgari’s sold silver, antiques, and bric-a-brac.
The Bulgari Jewelry, famous among stars since the early years
Bulgari’s jewelry soon became famous and movie stars, such as Mary Pickford, Princess Grace, and Audrey Hepburn, all wore their jewels. According to ‘Bulgari’ by Daniela Mascotti and Amanda Triossi, Richard Burton gave Elizabeth Taylor a Bulgari ring during the filming of “Cleopatra”.
He said that: “I introduced her to beer and she introduced me to Bulgari.”
Taylor’s then-husband, Eddie Fisher, scared of losing his beautiful wife to Burton, rushed out and bought her a stunning emerald necklace. Keira Knightley, the star of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ has worn a spectacular, vintage Bulgari necklace to the 78th Academy Awards.
The thought that movie stars might be paid to wear jewelry by designers often caused controversy. There was a rumor that Ziyi Zhang was paid to wear designer jewelry which created a big controversy.
The company told Diane Clehane of Look Online that: “Bvlgari has a long and established relationship with the movie industry. We were approached throughout the years by many celebrities who asked for our jewelry for numerous events, movies, awards, and private occasions.
They had highlighted that is not a job of the company to discuss these relationships any further.”
When Bulgari sponsored Fay Weldon’s novel, ‘The Bulgari Connection’, it also caused controversy.
Although critics derided her, Weldon defended her use of the company’s name. She told Calvin Reid at Publisher’s Weekly that she did it because it was fun. She continued: “because I wanted to write a novel about the world of charity art auctions, where rich men and women sit on little gold chairs and exploit artists…and here was someone to pay for it”.
None of this affected Bulgari’s reputation as one of the world’s premier jewelers, however. The company is visible mostly for many innovations in jewelry. Some of these include combining unusual materials, using materials not usually associated with jewelry, such as steel and white porcelain. The stunning jewelry for everyday wear, and using Italian architectural themes.
Today, Paolo and Nicola Bulgari, Descendents of Sotirios, and their nephew, Francisco Trapani run the bussiness. In the 1970s the jewelers opened many international stores in such cities as New York, Paris, and Geneva. The firm listed on the Italian Stock Exchange in 1995.
After a downturn in luxury goods caused by fear of terrorism, a tendency for people not to travel so much, and a strong euro, Ernesto Greco, the Chief Financial Officer of Bulgari, turned the company’s fortunes around. According to Fine Lines by Ben McLanahan at CFOEurope.com (November 2005): “Since taking the CFO reins at Bvlgari in 1989, Greco has steered its transformation from a private, 60 million euro family-dominated firm (one that took ten months to publish consolidated financial statements), to a sprawling, sophisticated 828 million euro global player, the third-largest jeweler in the world, behind Cartier and New York-based Tiffany”.
Bulgari – showing a continuous growth through the years
The company is still most famous for its stunning jewelry, sunglasses, and watches. Bulgari sunglasses become loved by Angelina Jolie, Tara Reid, and Anne Hathaway, to name but a few. Bulgari is also famous for its stunning collection of watches which include the lines: Bulgari-Bulgari, Assioma, Rettangolo, Ergon, and Diagono. These watches, along with new lines introduced every year account for more than 30% of the brand’s turnover. Bulgari also has many other lines, including scarves, bags, eyewear, and even luxury hotels where any piece of Bulgari jewelry can be ordered from room service!
In 2007, Bulgari brought in sales figures of 1.091 billion euros. In 2008, approximately 252 existing Bulgari boutiques which include 155 become directly owned by Bulgari. Bulgari stores are located at some of the most prestigious fashion destinations in the world, and the name itself spells bold, timeless elegance.
What makes the brand stand out of ordinary?
The fact that they use luxurious colored stones and the fine quality, along with the good attention to details made them expand their popularity, launching more and more goods to the people around the world.
From Jewelry – to fragrances, accessories, and even hotels and resorts available to experience around the world
Newcomers to the Bulgari brand were attracted with the multitude of products available to be bought around the years, people keeping the wait for a new launch every once in a while.
That is how people started to connect and identify themselves with all the identities of the brand, purchasing jewelry, accessories, and fragrances that suited their needs.
Also, there are lots of glamorous Bulgari Hotels and Resorts welcoming people to unforgettable experiences around the world for those who want to see where the brand’s power can go.
Jewelry, Watches and Accessories
The colors and eclectic creativity were the core elements behind the rise of Bulgari’s jewelry line, creating daring combinations through modern designs inspired by the rich Roman history.
With a blend of sophistication and innovation in the category of watches, Bulgari breaks the ordinary by making products expressing the elegance of the Italian style mixed with swiss watchmaking expertise.
Exquisite Italian designs and effortless style, featuring splendid colors make the ultimate statement of glamour. They are conveying the excellence that Bulgari delivers in the accessories sections of the brand. Charming accessories, sunglasses, bags and other leather goods crafted with precious materials are completing the beautiful range of products of the Bulgari brand.
Hotels and Resorts
From Milan to Rome, continuing the example with London, Dubai, Bali, Beijing, Shanghai, Paris, and others to be added in the next years, Bulgari broke the limits of luxury hospitality around the world.
The selected proprieties in the major cosmopolitan cities and resorts destinations were created in order to continue the timeless glamour of this brand and the heritage of the magnificent Roman Jeweler.
Even as a luxury brand, they assure their commitment to sustainable luxury, respecting the environment and the human resources. Still, they are devoted to the most innovative luxury service concept around the world, the Hotels, and resorts being recognized as the cities’ most coveted point for the local high society.
Famous around the world for for fact that they stand out of ordinary
Bulgari is famous for the glamorous jewelry it offers, the luxury watches, perfumes, and leather accessories that one can discover in their spectacular collections.
It is a brand that was founded over 130 years ago. Since then, they become well known and respected as an Italian jewelry luxury brand. All over the years, the position of the brand has remained in a good place in the labels of luxury goods made in Italy. An inventive combination between the creativity of precious and colored gems, along with the nuances and the Roman flair made them became the representation of classical and contemporary.
By Lisa-Anne Sanderson