Bulgari (/ˈbʊlɡəri/, Italian: [ˈbulɡari]; stylized as BVLGARI) is an Italian luxury brand known for its jewellery, watches, fragrances, accessories and leather goods.
While the majority of design, production and marketing is overseen and executed by Bulgari, the company does, at times, partner with other entities. For example, Bulgari eyewear is produced through a licensing agreement with Luxottica, and Bulgari formed a joint venture with Marriott International in 2001 to launch its hotel brand, Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, a collection of properties and resort destinations around the world.
Currently part of the LVMH Group, Bulgari was founded in the region of Epirus, Greece, in 1884 by the silversmith Sotirios Boulgaris (Italian: Sotirio Bulgari) as a single jewellery shop that has, over the years, become an international brand. The company has evolved into a player in the luxury market, with an established and growing network of stores.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.
The Voulgaris were a silversmithing family from the Epirus region of [Greece]]. Whether or not the Voulgaris family of Corfu and the Voulgaris family of the Italian jewelers Bulgari from Epirus share the same paternal line is unclear, but the count Stefanos Voulgaris denied that the Bulgari family of the Italian jewelers family is genealogically related to the Voulgaris family of Corfu. According to chronicles of the Voulgaris family written in Venetian Corfu, the "Voulgaris family of Saint Spyridon of Corfu" descend from the royal figures of barbarian peoples from the Volga river, who "finally settled in Moesia near the Haemus mountains, located in Bulgaria", so the founding father of this family was described as the "Triballian" (de facto Serbian) Prince Stefan Lazarevic in the 16th century testemant of the family, becoming such by taking refugee in the Venetian island Corfu.
The founder of the Bulgari brand is Sotirios Voulgaris (Greek: Σωτήριος Βούλγαρης, pronounced [soˈtirʝos ˈvulɣaris]) who was born in March 1857 and came from the Epirus Village of Paramythia, the largest Aromanian center of silversmithing in the Balkans. He was one of eleven children of his father Georgios Voulgaris(1823-1889) and his Aromanian mother Eleni Stronggaris. In 1881, Sotirios Bulgari moved to Rome and, in 1884, opened his first store on via Sistina 85. In 1888, he married Aromanian Eleni Basio with whom he had six children: Constantine-Georgios(1889-1973), Leonidas-Georgios(1890-1966), Maria-Athena(1891-1976), Sofia(1893-1908), Alexandra(1895-1984) and Spyridon(1897-1932); Leonidas-Georgios is the father of the current chairman of the company, Paolo Bulgari. In 1905, he unveiled the Via Condotti shop that would become the company’s flagship. In its early years, Bulgari was known for silver pieces that borrowed elements from Byzantine and Islamic art, combining them with floral motifs. At the time, Paris was the apex of fashion and creativity, and its trends influenced Sotirio’s designs for decades: jewels of the early 20s were characterised by platinum Art Deco settings while those of the 30s featured geometric diamond motifs—sometimes set in combination with coloured gemstones. Convertible jewels were also popular during the time, and one of Bulgari’s major piece was the Trombino, a small trumpet-shaped ring.
In 1932 Sotirio died, leaving the business to his two sons, Giorgio (1890–1966) and Costantino (1889–1973), who each had a keen interest in precious stones and jewels. During the Second World War, most new jewellery was crafted out of gold, as gems were scarce, and designs became more natural feeling. As the 1940s came to a close, Bulgari introduced Serpenti bracelet-watches