MILAN — Bulgari is opening its biggest store ever, a 10-story tower in the heart of Tokyo.
The flagship, located in Ginza's 2-chome shopping district, will open in December 2007 and have a retail space of 10,247 square feet. The structure also will house the headquarters of Bulgari Japan.
"Bulgari, in fact, can boast a strong relationship with Japan since the opening of the first store here more than 20 years ago," Francesco Trapani, the company's chief executive officer, said in a statement. "Since then, the brand has registered a great success in this country, and in 2005 Japan represented 26 percent of the Group's total revenues."
The Bulgari Ginza Tower will have a rooftop garden, VIP rooms and a bridal lounge, as well as an Italian restaurant and a bar. Bulgari declined to disclose its investments in the structure, but the jeweler is renting the space from pharmaceuticals group Sankyo.
Bulgari's in-house architects designed the glass facade of the tower, which was inspired by the shape of a jewelry display case.
"Japan has always been for Bulgari the key market to launch new products because of the well-known passion and attention of Japanese clientele to design, quality and image, and this is the reason why we decided to open here our largest store in the world," Trapani said.
Another Italian jeweler is expanding in Asia, too. This month, Morellato will open its 21st store in China, in the mainland city of Xi'an. The landlocked city is a popular tourist destination, home to an army of terra cotta warriors, an archeological treasure.
Morellato began its push into China last year, opening 20 stores in various shopping malls, including three in Beijing and two in Shanghai. The company posted 2005 sales of more than 95 million euros, or $118.75 million at average exchange rates for the period.
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"