Bulgari (Italian pronunciation: [ˈbulgari]) is an Italian jeweler and luxury goods retailer which has been owned by the French firm LVMH since October 2011. The trademark is usually written "BVLGARI" in the classical Latin alphabet (where V = English U), and is derived from the surname of the company's Greek founder, Sotirio Voulgaris (Greek: Σωτήριος Βούλγαρης, Greek pronunciation: [soˈtirjos ˈvulɣaris], Italian: Sotirio Bulgari, 1857–1932). Although the company made a name for itself with jewelry, today it is a recognized luxury brand that markets several product lines including watches, handbags, fragrances, accessories, and hotels.
Bulgari ( BVLGARI )
Frankfurt am Main
Sotirios Voulgaris began his career as a jeweller in his home village Paramythia (Epirus, Greece), where his first store can still be seen. In 1877, he left for Corfu and then Naples. In 1881 he finally moved to Rome, where in 1884 he founded his company and opened his second shop in via Sistina.
The current flagship store in via dei Condotti was opened in 1905 by Bulgari with the help of his two sons, Costantino (1889–1973) and Giorgio (1890–1966). The store quickly became a place where the world's rich and famous came for the unique, high quality jewelry designs combining Greek and Roman art.
A Bulgari shop in Baku
During the Second World War, Costantino Bulgari and his wife, Laura Bulgari, hid three Jewish women in their own Roman home. They were strangers to them; the Bulgaris opened their doors out of outrage for the raid of the Roman ghetto in October 1943. For their generous action, on 31 December 2003, they were awarded the title of Righteous among the Nations at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.
On 6 March 2011 French luxury group LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA announced that it was acquiring Bulgari SpA in an all-share deal for €4.3 billion ($6.01 billion), higher than LVMH had offered for any other company. 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. The takeover doubled the size of LVMH’s watches and jewelry 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.
Bulgari opened its first international locations in New York City, Paris, Geneva and Monte Carlo in the 1970s. For many years the company maintained a showroom in New York's The Pierre Hotel. Today Bulgari has more than 290 stores worldwide.
In 1984, Sotirio's grandsons Paolo and Nicola Bulgari were named Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the company and nephew Francesco Trapani was named CEO. Trapani's goal to diversify the company was started in the early 1990s with the release of the Bulgari perfume line. Under his tenure the company has established itself as a luxury goods brand recognized throughout the world.
In 1995, the company was listed on the Borsa Italiana. The company has seen 150% revenue growth between 1997 and 2003. Currently outside investors hold about 45% of the company's stock.
In the beginning of 2001, Marriott International formed a joint venture with Bulgari Spa to launch a new luxury hotel brand, Bulgari Hotels & Resorts. Luxury Group, the Luxury Division of Marriott operates Bulgari Hotels & Resorts as well as the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. Bulgari opened its first hotel in Milan in 2004, and a second in Bali in 2006. In 2011, Bulgari Bali has been chosen by the readers of Smart Travel Asia magazine as number-2 of top places to stay in Asia. Bulgari is the supplier of luxury goods used in guest suites and public areas aboard the ships of the Italian cruise company Silversea.
Bulgari jewelry design is distinctive and often imitated (and counterfeited). In the 1970s, many of the more expensive Bulgari pieces (such as necklaces, bracelets and earrings) were characterized by instantly recognizable, bold, architectural designs combining large and weighty gold links with interlocking steel. Bulgari is also famous for colored stones, especially sapphires mixed in unique formats. Genuine Bulgari watches have a unique serial number that is registered with the company.
North American Bulgari boutiques are found in Atlanta, Beverly Hills, Bal Harbour, Boca Raton, Chevy Chase, Chicago, Costa Mesa, Dallas, Honolulu, Houston, New York, Las Vegas, Mexico City, Montreal, Palm Beach, San Francisco, Short Hills, Waikiki, and Scottsdale, Arizona.
South American Bulgari boutiques are found in Lima, Bogotá, São Paulo, Margarita island & Quito.
The company's Swiss subsidiary, Bulgari Time S.A., is responsible for Bulgari watch production. It was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Neuchatel. Bulgari Time SA employs about 500 people.
Today, Bulgari watches make up approximately 29% of the company's total turnover. Bulgari has started developing its own calibers and parts, including highly complicated mechanisms and basic calibers. The Bulgari watch collection comprises the following lines: Bulgari-Bulgari, Sotirio-Bulgari, Assioma, Astrale, B.Zero1, Daniel Roth, Rettangolo, Ergon, Gérald Genta, Serpenti and Diagono.
At BaselWorld 2006, Bulgari unveiled the complicated Assioma Multi Complication watch, equipped with tourbillon, perpetual calendar and second time zone.
^ a b c d e f "Annual Report 2010". Bulgari. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
^ History and pictures from paramythia-online.gr
^ Israel Gutman, Bracha Rivlin e Liliana Picciotto, I giusti d'Italia: i non ebrei che salvarono gli ebrei, 1943–45 (Mondadori: Milano 2006), pp.75–76.
^ Andrew Roberts and Tara Lachapelle (7 March 2011), Bulgari Takeover 82% Costlier Than Hermes for LVMH: Real M&A Business Week.
^ Paul Betts (7 March 2011), Bulgari is new jewel in LVMH crown Financial Times.
^ "Bulgari Group". Bulgari facts & figures. Retrieved 14 giugno 2011.
^ "Bali Top Holiday Spot in Asia: Poll". September 7, 2011.
^ "Scottsdale Fashion Square".
^ "Bulgari Watch Production review".
Medieval Greece / Byzantine Empire
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