Bvlgari was founded in Rome, in 1884 by Greek silversmith Sotirios Boulgaris as a single jewellery shop that has, over the years, become an international brand. He 'Italianised' his name to Sotirio Bulgari and the firm that would eventually come to represent the very essence of ‘la dolce vita’ was born. Sotirio died in 1932 leaving the business to his sons (Giorgio and Constantino) who proceeded to undertake a major store refurbishment resulting in a spectacular marble-clad frontage with the name BVLGARI in block capitals above the door. This marked the change from the letter U to the Romanised V and was the first use of the company name as we recognise it today.
Sotirio died in 1932 leaving the business to his sons (Giorgio and Constantino) who proceeded to undertake a major store refurbishment resulting in a spectacular marble clad frontage with the name BVLGARI in block capitals above the door. This marked the change from the letter U to the Romanised V and was the first use of the company name as we recognise it today.
The jewellery of the 1930’s was still largely informed by French design and diamonds and platinum dominated. The 1940’s and 50’s saw the introduction of yellow gold along with more colour in the form of rubies, emeralds and sapphires which would be paired with diamonds in compact and stylised designs. It isn’t until the 60’s and 70’s that we see the regular use of cabochon stones and a far wider selection of coloured gems such as tourmaline, amethyst and turquoise, often in combination, resulting in what we now think of as the ‘Bulgari style’. It is also the period that sees the introduction of a range of jewellery set with ancient coins, a style that would prove universally popular and become synonymous with the brand.
Some of the most important contributions are its first floral brooches—called en tremblant because of their trembling diamond corollas. At the end of the 1950s, Bulgari 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.
With Giorgio’s death in 1966 and Constantino’s in 1973, management passed to Giorgio’s sons Gianni, Paolo and Nicola and two of Constantino’s daughters, Anna and Marina. The company entered a period of modernisation and oversees expansion opening stores in New York, Geneva and Paris. By now they had an enviable client list of the rich and famous and had cemented their reputation as the Italian jewellers par excellence on an International level.
Bvlgari is not only one of the leading world wide jewellery brands but it is also a power house of luxury and design. Bvlgari brand also produces perfumery, sunglasses, bags, watches and other accessories. And last but not least, company owns the chain of hotels Bulgari Hotels & Resorts.
Milan and London are some of the cities where one can spend a night in a Bvlgari hotel. The Bvlgari hotels are inspired, designed and themed around the many design elements of the fashion brand. These lavish establishments feature movie halls and Michelin Star restaurants. The Bvlgari Bali Resort has been voted as one of the best in Asia.
The largest Bvlgari store is the 10-storey Bvlgari Ginza Tower in Tokyo with a space of 940 square meters.
The trademark is usually written BVLGARI in the classical Latin alphabet, and it is derived from the surname of the company's founder, Sotirios Boulgaris.
The Latin ‘V’ in Bvlgari was added to the name in 1934.
In the 1950s, some of Bvlgari best-known clients included Elizabeth Taylor, Anna Magnani, Ingrid Bergman and Gina Lollobrigida.
Bvlgari ventured into watch-making in the 1970s with the launch of its iconic “Bvlgari watch".
The Serpenti is also amongst Bvlgari’s earlier launches; 1940s to be exact. Along the years, variations of the Serpenti bracelets and watches were launched.