Bulgari Opens A Stunning New Roman Inspired Paris Flagship

If there is a place we could be right now other than where we are, it would surely be strolling through Paris’ Place Vendome, admiring for the 400th time or so the sublime symmetry of architect Jules Hardouin Mansart’s glorious 17th Century masterpiece. When we were last there in 2019, it was especially beautifully illuminated by the Yayoi Kusama installation Life of the Pumpkin Recites, All About the Biggest Love for the People (and we definitely did feel the love).

Cut off from Europe, however, as we have been all through this long and terrible pandemic, we have truly missed those special meditative Parisian moments. But take heart, Europe has just opened back up to Americans, and there is a new and very good reason to return to the French capital as soon as possible – and it just happens to be located at 23 Place Vendome. Indeed, Italian luxury house Bulgari (or Bvlgari, if you prefer) has just unveiled a stunning new 1300 square meter flagship store at that very address, and it is, well, drop dead gorgeous.

It also happens to have been designed by that exalted architect/provocateur Peter Marino, who has come right out and called it, “My most fabulous store to date.” And keep in mind this is someone whose portfolio includes Louis Vuitton Soho, Chanel 57th Street, Fendi Rome, and even the Bulgari Hotel in London. But here he fitted two connecting mansions with lashings of marble from Pavonazzetto and Breccia di Seravezza, and dropped in a special parquet flooring arranged in a striking star pattern – and that’s just for starters.

It’s all meant to evoke both a classical and modern sense of Roma, and photographer Nicolas Ruel‘s ethereal photos of the Eternal City feature pronouncedly. Interiors are also graced with the works of eminent Italian design icons Osvaldo Borsani, Angelo Mangiarotti, and Carlo Scarpa – and there’s a stunning, ’60s era chandelier by Gio Ponti. It’s practically a treatise on Italian luxury and style.

“We are proud to have built a new home within the global home of high jewelry,” enthuses Bulgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin, referring to the Paris address that also boasts the likes of Gucci, Cartier and Dior, and will see the opening of a new Chanel boutique in 2022. “To be present here as the only Italian jeweler expressing a style, a know-how and a creative spirit like no other. Our unchanged mission is to continue to amaze the world with our unrivaled mastery in making magnificent creations.”

Of course, those magnificent creations will all be vividly on display here: the Sapphire Petal Necklace, the Emerald Ellipse necklace, the Ruby Metamorphosis Ring…and all that mastery obviously comes at a lofty price. But there’s no charge for a bit of aspirational browsing, of course – and the new Bulgari Paris flagship will surely inspire many such aspirations.

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