The history of the Bulgari brand began well 137 years ago, when Sotirios Voulgaris, a silversmith from Epirus (a geographical region of South-Eastern Europe belonging to southern Albania and North-Western Greece), came to Italy to look for luck.
After escaping from his homeland, where bloody struggles between Greeks and Turks were going on, intent on bringing Italy’s rich classical goldsmith tradition to classical Greece, Sotirios Voulgaris(in Italian Sotirio Bulgari) came to Naples in 1881.
But it is in Rome that officially begins the glorious history of the Bulgari brand, when the first store in via Sistina was opened: from that moment on, the success of this luxury brand has never stopped.
In this article we will tell the story of Sotirios Voulgaris, the birth of his jewels and how the Bulgari brand has evolved over the years.
ME AND BULGARI: THE FIRST STORES IN VIA SISTINA AND IN VIA DEI CONDOTTI
The Neapolitan stage of Sotirios Voulgarislasted 3 years: we are in 1884 and the silversmith moved to Rome where he managed, at first, to exhibit his creations at a jewelry store and, subsequently, to open his first store in a famous street of the capital: Via Sistina.
The success was immediate, so as to allow the opening of several shops in all those places that, at the time, were very popular holiday destinations, such as Sorrento, Sanremo, and Saint-Moritz.
In 1905, Bulgari succeeded in transferring the Via Sistina store into a famous street in Rome, still today the location and symbol of luxury shopping: Via deiCondotti, where the company’s most important site is still present.
On the sign of the shop in Via deiCondotti, Sotirios Voulgaris wrote the title of a novel by Charles Dickens “Old Curiosity Shop” (in Italian “La bottegadell’antiquario”), to tempt rich foreigners on holiday in Rome to enter in the store and to buy.
The success of Bulgari was sanctioned in this period by the choice of a peculiar style that immediately characterized the company.
Sotirio created “decomposable” jewels, like precious necklaces that turned into bracelets or brooches turning into sparkling pendants: and this was his “revolution”.
In those years in Rome began to arrive also many movie divas, thanks to the success of Cinecittà, the complex of film studios of the Capital: Italian stars, as Sofia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida, and international, just mention the names of Marlene Dietrich and Audrey Hepburn, visited the Bulgari store in Via deiCondotti, increasing its notoriety.
THE TWENTY YEARS AND THE BIRTH OF THE “BVLGARI” LOGO
In the twenties of the twentieth century, Bulgari is already an extremely successful luxury brand.
And it is precisely in this period that the famous logo that still identifies the Company was born: the founder’s surname written in capital letters, with refined movements and subtle lines, “BVULGARI” with the original “V”, following the rules of classical Latin, to honor the glorious past of the family.
In 1934 there was the first engraving of the new logo on the shop, during the restoration work that took place to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the foundation.
The sons of Sotirios Voulgaris, Costantino and Giorgio entered the Company in the 1930s, covering different roles: the first, interested in the study and collecting of silver, took care of collecting antique pieces not only of silver, but also works of art in general.
Costantino Bulgari is, in fact, the author of a collection comprising five volumes, published starting in 1958, entitled “Argentieri, gemmari and goldsmiths of Italy”, a sort of encyclopedia of Italian goldsmiths and silversmiths brands of all ages.
Giorgio, on the other hand, an expert in precious stones and design, took care of the creative aspects and the various processing techniques.
With the help of Sotirios Voulgaris ‘two sons, the company continued its path of success, becoming, in the fifties of the twentieth century, a symbol of luxury famous throughout the world, sought by both film celebrities and rich tourists visiting Rome.
Over the years, up to the present day, Bulgari has never lost its attractiveness and its success, so much so as to decide not to deal exclusively with jewelry, but to expand its business to other sectors.
“BVLGARI HOTEL & RESORTS”: LUXURY HOTELS WORLDWIDE
As previously mentioned, the Bulgari brand continues today to be one of the undisputed protagonists of the “World of luxury”, not only for the creation of precious jewels, accessories and perfumes, but also for having opened in several cities of the World some ultra-luxurious Hotel & Resorts.
“Bvlgari Hotel &Resorts” is currently present in Milan, London, Bali, Beijing, Dubai and Shanghai and Tokyo – Osaka with ultra-luxury restaurants.
In 2020, other facilities will also be opened in Moscow and Paris, and in 2022 in Tokyo.
The idea of Bulgari was to create real “Oasis of luxury”, located in the most important metropolises of the world, and to create a “collection” of luxurious and carefully selected hotels present in the biggest cities of tourist destinations.
The goal is to transmit through these structures all the exclusivity of the Bulgari brand, its immortal history and its elegance that few other brands can boast.
Each structure that is part of the “Bvlgari Hotel & Resorts” is located in the most luxurious districts of the city and are characterized by the union of the exclusive Italian style with the one of the metropolis in which it is located.
All rooms and suites are both elegantly furnished with custom-made design objects, and enriched with very high-quality and high-quality materials.After 137 years, Bulgari is still one of the symbols of Italian excellence in the world, a true symbol of the luxury of Made in Italy exclusivity.
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