It was the start of Milan Fashion Week and I managed to grab my first dose of espresso since arriving in the city the night before. The struggle was indeed real as I was trying to shrug off the jet lag and psyching myself up for a full day of presentations lined up for me. However, that dreaded feeling quickly turned into excitement as I arrived at the majestic Bvlgari Hotel Milano. The atmosphere at the hotel lobby was buzzing with invited guests eagerly awaited to get a first glimpse of the Bvlgari Spring/Summer ‘20 Leather Goods and Accessories collection.
Leading up to the presentation, I was offered an opportunity, of which I seized in a heartbeat, to have a one-to-one interview with Bvlgari’s accessories business unit director Mireia Lopez Montoya. While I waited for my turn to have a chat with her, I was taken to preview the pieces from the newest collection.
Tough, radical, and rock ‘n’ roll—these were the words that struck my mind when I laid my eyes on the latest Serpenti offerings. Entitled ‘Glam Rebel’, Bvlgari deftly infused its leather goods expertise and jewellery artistry to create show-stopping bags and accessories, all crafted from exquisite skins with jewel-inspired patterns, luxurious chains, and precious stones. From Serpenti Forever to Serpenti Diamond Blast, Bvlgari adds a hint of irreverence to its leather goods icons by incorporating innovative and unexpected finishes. Indeed, Bvlgari takes great pride in its innovation and craftsmanship. This can be seen in the pièce de résistance one-of-a-kind Serpenti Forever bag that took over 110 hours to produce. If one could imagine if Debby Harry as a bag, this would be it. Crafted from exotic python skin, the bag also features gemstones and dangling chains that were skillfully stitched by hand.
Dressed in a beautifully draped black dress and adorned in Bvlgari’s latest Serpenti accessories, Montoya warmly greeted me and offered me a seat by the bar overlooking the lush Bvlgari Hotel garden. Here, we discussed the story behind the collection, brand growth and the importance of reinvention.
What is the spirit behind Bvlgari Spring/Summer ‘20 Leather Goods and Accessories collection?
“There are many facets when it comes to the Serpenti. This season, we felt that it was appropriate for us to express the rebellious spirit of the Serpenti. Serpenti has always been associated with many meanings and rebellion is one of them. For instance, the story of Adam and Eve, the story portrays the act of rebelliousness (ie: eating the forbidden apple). This almost serves as a metaphor for the brand to continue to push the boundaries and breaking the rules in our own way and finding innovative methods to translate our expertise with jewelleries into our leathergoods and accessories.”
What are some of the key pieces from the collection?
“As you would have seen from the presentation, it would be almost impossible to make a selection from the ection because they are all truly special in their own way. I am currently using the Serpenti Forever Graphic Pave shoulder bag and it features a gem-like chain stitched exterior to give it a tough character that is very on point with the theme of the collection. But then we also have the Serpenti Forever Butterfly Flow bags that feature the brand’s heritage brooches that are very feminine. So there is a piece here for everyone.”
Leather Goods and Accessories is one out of the five core products for Bvlgari. How is the brand growing today?
“Bvlgari has been experiencing significant growth over the past couple of years. It is gratifying to know that we are attracting new younger customers from different parts of the world. Moreover, it is interesting to know what more people are discovering that Bvlgari is not just a jewellery brand.”
How does Bvlgari grow its luxury audience? And what are some of the major contributing factors for the success?
“First and foremost is the content. Basically if it’s just a means to showcase your products in the same way you would do in a glossy magazine, on the billboard the engagement would be extremely low. In my opinion the audience is attracted to authenticity. The consumers don’t only want to just like a product but they want to know the story behind each piece and how it’s crafted before they make an informed purchase. The beauty of digital and social media platforms is that you can create more beautiful content at a faster rate so you can consistently build that engagement with the audience.”
Over the years, Bvlgari has been partnering up with different collaborators to reinvent the iconic Serpenti. What is the main goal for the brand to collaborate with other creative minds?
“At Bvlgari, we always keep an open mind when it comes to creativity and innovation. Especially when it comes to reinventing something that’s as iconic as the Sepenti. With each collaboration resulting in cool and unexpected surprises and unveiling the uniqur side of the Sepenti.”