“What is the most important thing in this collaboration? Turning packaging into a luxury item”


“What is the most important thing in this collaboration? Turning packaging into a luxury item,” – says the 35-year-old Alexander Wang. – I was always fascinated by the process; one might even call it a ceremony of an expensive purchase: all these beautiful packages, cases, boxes. I decided to give a significant role in these things.” Each of the six models of bags in the “Serpenti through the eyes of Alexander Wang” collection exists in different variations: you can choose the skin of a calf, python or lizard, as well as black, white or mint colors. Shopping Tote resembles a paper bag, while Minaudière looks like a jewelry box. Belt Bag, in a very classical form, has become a transformer of a new generation – in addition to a short handle, it also has a long one with a chain, as well as a belt that allows you to carry the bag on your belt. All of them are crowned with a clasp (and Belt Bag – even with two at once) in the shape of the head of a snake – the Bvlgari brand name.

The romance of an adult American designer, who was recently being considered as a prodigy child, with an old Italian brand began a year and a half ago when Bvlgari invited him to Rome to get acquainted with the archives. “Then, I saw how much we have in common. Bvlgari honors tradition, but values innovation even more. I was infatuated by the story that their iconic snake bracelet was inspired by the gas station hose! I do the same: I take something ordinary and put it in a different context.”

Wang tries to guess the desires of the public and is being upset if it doesn’t work out. “It is important for me to create not just a fashionable and comfortable thing. I want her to carry emotion and maybe even magic. It seems that this time everything has worked out! ”

The year 2000 was the beginning of an increasingly aggressive period of verticalization for Bulgari, with the acquisition of the luxury watchmaking brands Daniel Roth and Gérald Genta, followed by the takeover of the jewelry firm Crova and of other companies that specialized in leather goods and watchmaking. The opening of the first Bulgari Hotel in Milan in 2004 further confirmed the expansion strategy of the brand. It was the result of a joint venture with Luxury Group, a division of Marriot International. In 2009, Bulgari celebrated its 125th anniversary with a retrospective of the brand’s history, held in Rome at Palazzo delle Esposizioni. That same year, the snake—a motif that appeared in Bulgari collections from the 1960s—re-emerged as the emblem of the Serpenti collection. In 2011, Bulgari 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 Bulgari 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. Under the agreement, the Bulgari family sold their 50.4 percent controlling stake in exchange for 3 percent 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.

The trademark is usually written BVLGARI in the classical Latin alphabet, and it is derived from the surname of the company’s founder, Sotirios Voulgaris (Greek: Σωτήριος Βούλγαρης). 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 store. 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.

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