Roman luxury jewelry house Bulgari has unveiled a freshly restyled flagship on the corner of Fifth Avenue and West 57th Street. First opened in 1989, the dazzling 4,000-square-foot, two-level space has now been redesigned by architect Peter Marino to meld Rome’s dolce vita flair with the bold modernity of New York City. Numerous elements of the store’s design speak to Bulgari’s Roman roots. The dazzling Italian-made gold lattice treatment on its exterior is inspired by the “rosetta” motif used on heritage bracelets from the 1930s, and the breathtaking Carrera-marble-framed entrance door is a reproduction of the Condotti design that welcomes guests into Bulgari’s flagship in Rome.
Inside, two vintage eight-point Condotti star chandeliers by Gio Ponti—sourced from the Parco dei Principi hotel’s ballroom in Rome—illuminate five 16-foot-tall marble pillars and window arches as well as nearly a dozen custom display cases crafted from glass, walnut wood, stone, and brass. Richly veined Pavonazzetto, Breccia di Stazzema, and Botticino marble—all sourced from the Italian Alps—are used throughout the space.
The main floor houses several iconic jewelry collections in addition to fragrances and accessories, while the second-level VIP lounge—outfitted with textured gold rugs and blush couches—is reserved for special events and appointments. “I feel a good energy here,” says Bulgari’s creative director for jewelry, Lucia Silvestri, of the mezzanine level. “This store is cozy. You can feel the jewels much better when you can sit, have a cup of tea, and relax.”
In honor of the revamped New York flagship, Silvestri—who joined the brand at age 18 as an assistant to the Bulgari brothers—designed From Rome to New York, a 33-piece collection of new designs in vibrant reddish coral, lapis lazuli, diamonds, and gold. “These [designs] are one of a kind for Bulgari New York. This is something that you can find only in this store,” notes Silvestri, who counts the diamond-studded high jewelry bracelet and large, ’70s-inspired pendant necklace as two of her favorites.
“The pieces in this collection are lightweight, very easy to wear, and inspired by the American flag’s red stars and stripes,” says Silvestri. “In Italy—Rome in particular—we wear more color, while here in New York, I see more diamonds. So these designs are really a mixture between Rome and New York.” Upon closer inspection, you can see the letters “NY” set into several of the new designs, and some pieces feature 19th-century American silver coins—a fresh take on Bulgari’s Monete collection, which spotlights ancient Roman coins. Silvestri—who describes jewelry design as her passion, not her job—encourages mixing and matching Bulgari’s new and old pieces to build a unique look. “There are no rules. I’m wearing the capsule collection with Diva earrings. I’m enjoying the jewels.” Additional capsule collections exclusive to the New York store are expected in the coming months.