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Bulgari S.p.A (/ˈbʊlɡəri/; stylized as BVLGARI) is an Italian luxury brand known for its jewelry, watches, fragrances, accessories and leather goods.

Bulgari S.p.A.
Privately held società per azioni
Industry Retail
Founded 1884; 134 years ago (1884)
Founder Sotirios Voulgaris
Headquarters Rome, Italy
Key people
Paolo Bulgari (Chairman), Jean-Christophe Babin (CEO)
Products jewellery, watches, accessories, fragrances, cosmetics
Revenue €1.069 billion (2010)[1]
€85.3 million (2010)[1]
€38.0 million (2010)[1]
Total assets €1.490 billion (end 2010)[1]
Total equity €934.0 million (end 2010)[1]
Owner LVMH (50,4%)
Number of employees
3,815 (end 2010)[1]
Website www.bulgari.com

While the majority of design, production and marketing is overseen and executed by Bvlgari, the company does, at times, partner with other entities. For example, Bvlgari eyewear is produced through a licensing agreement with Luxottica, and, in 2001, the brand formed a joint venture with Group Marriott International to launch its hotel brand, Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts, a collection of properties and resort destinations around the world.

Currently part of the LVMH Group, Bvlgari was founded in Rome in 1884 by Greek silversmith Sotirios Boulgaris (later Italianized to Sotirio Bulgari) as a single jewellery shop that has, over the years, become an international brand. The company has evolved into a player in the luxury market, with an established and growing network of stores.[2]

Contents

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The BVLGARI logo was used for the first time in 1934, when its gilded brass letters graced the central doorway of the Via Condotti flagship.[3] In reference to ancient Rome, the “U” was replaced with the letter “V”, and a logo was born. Since then, the trademark is written BVLGARI in the classical Latin alphabet.[4][5]

HistoryEdit

From its origins through the 1940sEdit

The Bulgaris were an ancient silversmithing family from the Epirus region of Greece. In 1881, Sotirios Bulgari (Greek: Σωτήριος Βούλγαρης, pronounced [soˈtirʝos ˈvulɣaris]) moved to Rome and, in 1884, opened his first store on via Sistina 85. In 1905, he unveiled the Via Condotti shop that would become the company’s flagship.[6] In its early years, Bvlgari was known for silver pieces that borrowed elements from Byzantine and Islamic art, combining them with floral motifs. At the time, Paris was the apex of fashion and creativity, and its trends influenced Sotirio’s designs for decades: jewels of the early 20s were characterised by platinum Art Deco settings while those of the 30s featured geometric diamond motifs—sometimes set in combination with coloured gemstones. Convertible jewels were also popular during the time, and one of Bvlgari’s major piece was the Trombino, a small trumpet-shaped ring.

In 1932, Sotirio passed away, leaving the business to his two sons, Giorgio (1890–1966) and Costantino (1889–1973), who each had a keen interest in precious stones and jewels. During the Second World War, most new jewellery was crafted out of gold, as gems were scarce, and designs became more natural feeling. As the 40s came to a close, Bvlgari introduced Serpenti bracelet-watches.[7]

The 50s and the 60s: Colour revolution and Dolce VitaEdit

In the 50s, some of Bvlgari best-known clients included Elizabeth Taylor, Anna Magnani, Ingrid Bergman and Gina Lollobrigida[8] as Rome earned a reputation as "Hollywood on the Tiber" with the Cinecittà studios.

At the same time, Bvlgari went to a new style. The post-war boom saw a return to precious materials, particularly white metals covered in diamonds. In the 50s, Bvlgari launched its first floral brooches—called en tremblant because of their trembling diamond corollas. At the end of the 50s, Bvlgari began to establish its motifs, introducing structured, symmetrical shapes in yellow gold set with brilliant gems—chosen for their colour rather than intrinsic value. Among these multi-hued jewels, cabochon cuts were another innovation. These new pieces were a significant departure from classical Parisian design.

 
A Bulgari shop in Baku, Azerbaijan

After Giorgio's death in 1966, his son Gianni led the company as co-chief executive with his cousin Marina.[9]

The 70s: Eclectic creativity and global expansionEdit

During the 1970s, Bvlgari stores opened in New York, Geneva, Monte Carlo and Paris. This era marks the beginning of the Group’s international expansion, with Gianni as chairman and CEO. A number of new motifs made their debut as well—jewels became recognisable for their angular forms, strong colours, oval elements with cabochons, chains and maxi sautoirs, whilst the predominant use of yellow gold made precious pieces feel all the more wearable, and became known as a Bvlgari trademark.[citation needed] In 1977, Bvlgari entered the world of horlogerie with the launch of the BVLGARI BVLGARI watch.[10] At the time, Gianni led a complete overhaul of the company, focusing on product design.[11]

The 80s: Prêt-à-porter jewelleryEdit

In the early 80s, to oversee all production of Bvlgari watches, Bvlgari Time was founded in Switzerland.[12] In 1984, Paolo and Nicola Bulgari, Giorgio’s sons, became Chairman and Vice-Chairman, respectively[13], while their nephew, Francesco Trapani, became Chief Executive Officer.[14] In 1985, Gianni resigned as CEO and in 1987, he left the family business after selling his one-third stake in the company to his brothers Nicola and Paolo.

From the 90s to the new millenniumEdit

Bvlgari diversified its brand in 1993 with the launch of its first fragrance, Eau Parfumée au The Vert and the founding of Bvlgari Parfums in Switzerland to oversee the creation and production of all perfumes. In 1995, Bvlgari pushed ahead with an aggressive programme for growth, becoming listed on the Milan Stock Exchange for the first time. In 1996, the brand launched its first accessories collection, beginning with silk scarves before developing a range of leather accessories and eyewear. In 1999, the brand launched the B.zero1 ring.[clarification needed][15]

The company has seen 150% revenue growth between 1997 and 2003.

The 21st centuryEdit

The year 2000 was the beginning of an increasingly aggressive period of verticalization for Bvlgari, with the acquisition of the luxury watchmaking brands Daniel Roth and Gérald Genta[16], followed by the takeover of the jewellery firm Crova and of other companies that specialised in leather goods and watchmaking.[17] The opening of the first Bvlgari Hotel in Milan in 2004 further confirmed the expansion strategy of the brand, and was the result of a joint venture with Luxury Group, a division of Marriot International. In 2009, Bvlgari celebrated its 125th anniversary with a retrospective of the brand’s history, held in Rome at Palazzo delle Esposizioni.[18] That same year, the snake—a motif that appeared in Bvlgari collections from the 1960s—re-emerged as the emblem of the Serpenti collection. In 2011, Bvlgari signed a strategic alliance with LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, the world’s leading luxury group. The agreement was based on a stock transfer of the Bulgari family's shares in Bvlgari S.p.A. to LVMH, an all-share deal for €4.3 billion ($6.01 billion), higher than LVMH had offered for any other company.[19] Under the deal, the Bulgari family sold their 50.4 per cent controlling stake in exchange for 3 per cent of LVMH, thereby becoming the second-biggest family shareholder behind the Arnaults in LVMH.[20] The takeover doubled the size of LVMH’s watches and jewellery unit, which at the time of the acquisition included Tag Heuer timepieces and De Beers diamond necklaces. The acquisition concluded on 4 October 2011 as Bulgari was delisted from the Borsa Italiana.[citation needed]

In 2014, Bvlgari celebrated the 130th anniversary of the brand. To mark the occasion, the shop at Via Condotti 10 was "reimagined" by the architect Peter Marino, and reopened. On the same day, the brand donated € 1.5 million to the city of Rome for the restoration of the Spanish Steps.[21] A few months after the Grand Opening, the DOMVS was inaugurated in the redesigned Bvlgari boutique, creating a gallery space to house of Bvlgari’s Heritage Collection.[22]

In 2017, Bvlgari opened a new jewellery manufacturing headquarters in Valenza. The largest in Europe, with a total area of 14,000sqm, the Manufacture has been given a Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification for sustainability in its design.[23] The facility was built over the former home of the first goldsmith in Valenza, Francesco Caramora. The buildings follow the model of a Roman domus, and are built around a central courtyard.[24]

ProductsEdit

JewelleryEdit

 
BVLGARI SERPENTI collection necklace

Bvlgari’s jewellery collections include B.zero1, Divas’ Dream, Serpenti, BVLGARI BVLGARI, Parentesi, and a bridal line.[citation needed]

WatchesEdit

Bvlgari’s watches collections include Octo, BVLGARI BVLGARI, Diagono and Haute Horlogerie creations for men, and LVCEA, Serpenti, Divas’ Dream, BVLGARI BVLGARI, B.zero1 and High Jewellery timepieces for women. It mixes Italian design and Swiss watchmaking. The company's Swiss subsidiary, Bvlgari Haute Horlogerie SA, is responsible for Bvlgari watch production. It was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Neuchâtel. Bvlgari Haute Horlogerie SA employs about 500 people.[citation needed]

FragrancesEdit

Bvlgari’s fragrance assortment includes Goldea, Splendida and Omnia for women, Bvlgari Man, Aqua, the Classics, and Blv Pour Homme for men, whilst Bvlgari Le Gemme and Eau Parfumée.

Accessories & Leather goodsEdit

The creation of Bvlgari accessories and leather goods is handled in the Bvlgari atelier in Florence. Twice a year, Bvlgari presents its latest collections at Milan Fashion Week, debuting them at the Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter shows.

Bvlgari Hotels & ResortsEdit

 
BVLGARI in ifc mall, Hong Kong

In 2001, Bvlgari S.p.A. formed a joint venture with "Luxury Group", the Luxury Division of Marriott International, to launch Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts, a collection of hotels and resort destinations around the world.[citation needed] Their distinctive settings and Italian design by the architectural firm Antonio Citterio-Patricia Viel characterise the properties of Bvlgari Hotel Group. Having grown from a curated collection of three—Milan (opened in 2004), Bali (2006) and London (2012)—the Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts portfolio has recently added Beijing (2017), Dubai (2017) and Shanghai (2018) properties. There are three additional Hotels in the works, with Moscow, Paris and Tokyo slated to open between 2020 and 2022.[25]

BoutiquesEdit

 
Bvlgari Condotti Store in Rome, Italy

Bvlgari relies on a distribution network of about 300 stores. The largest Bvlgari store in the world is the 10-story Bvlgari Ginza Tower in Tokyo, 940 square meters of retail floor space, including a restaurant and lounge bar.[citation needed]

North American Bvlgari boutiques and distributors are found in Aspen, Atlanta, Beverly Hills, Bal Harbour, Boca Raton, Bethesda (Chevy Chase), Charlotte, Chicago, Costa Mesa, Dallas, Honolulu, Houston, King of Prussia, New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Cabo San Lucas. Mx, Montreal, Palm Beach, San Francisco, Short Hills, and Scottsdale, Arizona.[citation needed]

South American Bvlgari distributors are found in Lima, Bogotá, São Paulo, Margarita island & Quito.[citation needed]

Partnership with Save the ChildrenEdit

In 2009, Bvlgari takes action on behalf of disadvantaged children around the world through a partnership with Save the Children. The brand launched a campaign which included the launch of a Save the Children custom-designed jewellery collection[26], of which a portion of the proceeds went to the charity. As of 2018, Bvlgari’s contribution has totalled 80 million dollars.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Annual Report 2010" (PDF). Bulgari. Retrieved 19 May 2011. 
  2. ^ "Head of Italian luxury goods firm says new hotel venture will boost profits". CNN. February 13, 2011. 
  3. ^ "The Bulgari logo". Museo Del Marchio Italiano. 
  4. ^ "Bulgari". 
  5. ^ Amanda Triossi and Daniela Mascetti (2009). BVLGARI. Milan: Electa. p. 17. ISBN 9788837064921. 
  6. ^ Amanda Triossi and Daniela Mascetti (2009). BVLGARI. Milan: Electa. pp. 9–17. ISBN 9788837064921. 
  7. ^ "From the origins". Bvlgari Official website. 
  8. ^ Meylan, Vincent (2015). Roma passion jewels. Milan: Electa. ISBN 9788891804549. 
  9. ^ "Bulgari: the man, the enigma". The Age. 8 January 2007. 
  10. ^ "70 eclectic creativity". Bvlgari Official website. 
  11. ^ "Gianni Bulgari". Enigma. 
  12. ^ "THE HISTORY OF BVLGARI". Swisstime. 
  13. ^ "Bulgari S.p.A.". International Directory of Company Histories. 106. 2010. 
  14. ^ Amanda Triossi and Daniela Mascetti (2009). BVLGARI. Milan: Electa. ISBN 9788837064921. 
  15. ^ Amanda Triossi and Daniela Mascetti (2009). BVLGARI. Milan: Electa. ISBN 9788837064921. 
  16. ^ "Bulgari To Acquire Gerald Genta And Daniel Roth". Federation of the Swiss watch industry. July 5, 2000. 
  17. ^ "Bulgari Acquires 100% Of Crova". Diamonds. January 3, 2005. 
  18. ^ "BULGARI. TRA ETERNITÀ E STORIA. 125 ANNI DI GIOIELLI ITALIANI". Palazzo delle Esposizioni. May 22, 2009. 
  19. ^ Andrew Roberts and Tara Lachapelle (7 March 2011), Bulgari Takeover 82% Costlier Than Hermes for LVMH: Real M&A Archived 10 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Business Week.
  20. ^ Paul Betts (7 March 2011), Bulgari is new jewel in LVMH crown Archived 1 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Financial Times.
  21. ^ "Bulgari's Spanish Steps donation a €1.5m 'gift' to the people of Rome". The Guardian. March 20, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Bulgari inaugura una Domus per collezioni storiche e gioielli delle star". Corriere della Sera. October 24, 2014. 
  23. ^ "LEED GOLD". U.S. Green Building Council. 2017. 
  24. ^ Kathleen Beckett, "Bulgari Creates a New Jewelry-Making Center", New York Times March 30, 2017
  25. ^ "Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts Official website". bulgarihotels. 
  26. ^ "Jewellery - Save The Children". Bvlgari Official Website.