BULGARI’S 1ST LEATHER LINE DELIVERS
Byline: Wendy Hessen / with contributions from Alessandra Ilari, Milan
NEW YORK — Italian mailmen never had it so good. Inspired by the utilitarian, multi-gussetted bag they have carried for years, Bulgari has used the silhouette as the cornerstone of its first collection of leather goods.
Based around a single style, the handbags feature a squared, accordion design with either three or five gussets and a flap closure with a metal turn lock. The lock carries the signature Bulgari-Bulgari logo. The bags come in three sizes, and a variety of handle options, ranging from top handles to a single shoulder strap.
There are also small accessories, such as agendas, wallets, coin cases, makeup cases and belts. The agendas come with personalized Bulgari refills that feature lines of poetry on the Sunday pages.
The entire leather goods collection is available in all black or amber Freudenberg calfskin, a top-quality calfskin treated with a tanning technique that creates a very subtle grain, or in black or chocolate brown Freudenberg leather mixed with nylon twill. The small bags are also available in Louisiana crocodile. Retail prices range from $800 to $1,700 for handbags and from $190 to $290 for accessories.
The leather goods are the second accessories classification that Bulgari has launched in as many months. Its first collection of eyewear debuted a few weeks ago in Italy.
The eyewear is being produced by Bulgari’s only licensee — Italian eyewear giant Luxottica. Beginning in November, the eyewear will be distributed to 700 sales points in Italy and by the end of 1998, in 10,000 doors worldwide, including Bulgari’s 55 stores.
The collection features 34 styles, ranging from oversized, oval or square sunglasses in matte black, green, red or blue acetate to round metal wire frames in matte gray steel, with the Bulgari-Bulgari logo. Prescription eyewear styles are more subtle and feature a simple Bulgari etched plate attached to the frame’s temples.
Retail prices start at $220 for acetate frames and reach $352 for titanium wire frames. For those who want to indulge, there is an 18-karat gold frame, retailing for $1,400.
Francesco Trapani, managing director of Bulgari, said the eyewear and leather goods represent an additional step in the development of a complete line of Bulgari accessories. Silk scarves and ties were launched earlier this year. He describes these latest collections as striking “a balance between trendy and classical. They combine strong esthetic traits with great functional characteristics and a sophisticated, bold look that is meant to last throughout the years.”