Founded in 1884, there are few names as ubiquitous as that of “Bvlgari” in the world of luxury. While known as an Italian jeweler, Bvlgari (famously pronounced “Bulgari”) was actually founded in Epirus, Greece. Founder Sotirios Voulgaris, a silversmith from Greece, moved to Rome, Italy, the same year as his incorporation, and thus the inaugural flagship Bvlgari shop was established in Rome, where the company’s headquarters remain to this day. Founder Sotirio Voulgaris died in 1932 , leaving the brand to his two sons, Giorgio Costantino– who were responsible for the company’s refocusing and rebranding into diamond and gem-set jewelry.
Bvlgari developed their first renowned style in the 1940’s, with the introduction of the “Serpenti” – a classic motif that remains in Bvlgari catalogues to this day. During the 1970s, Bulgari stores opened in New York, Geneva, Monte Carlo and Paris, a vital expansion that helped them reach the global branding Bvlgari currently enjoys. Their most notable red-carpet moment was in the 1960’s, when Elizabeth Taylor donned a Bvlgari Colombian Emerald Suite– a necklace, earrings and ring set– during the Oscar Awards shows throughout the decade.
Currently, Bvlgari operates over 300 boutiques worldwide, with a massive presence in North America, Europe and Asia. The company additionally purveys watches, fragrances, leather goods and accessories– though in 2001 they launched “Bulgari Hotels & Resorts” in collaboration with The Ritz-Carlton hotel group, and currently operate 6 hotels and Bulgari Hotels & Resorts worldwide.
The preeminent Italian jeweler, Bvlgari leveraged their Roman heritage in their branding, parlaying their early success into a global presence.