New Directions: Mauro Di Roberto on Bulgari's Magnifica, its First Event in Milan, and the Brand's Continued Digital Push - Lifestyle Asia

Bulgari’s jewelry director talks about the two-day Magnifica launch event and how the brand utilized e-commerce over the pandemic.

The 137-year-old brand has a history of honoring its native Rome through its intricate jewelry collections through the decades. Given that the Eternal City is known to be both eclectic and timeless, the same words can describe Bulgari’s creations. In Magnifica, Bulgari’s newest high jewelry and watch line, they integrate rare gems into bold and thoughtful designs. 

Event video of Magnifica’s launch in Milan.

Last June, to celebrate Magnifica’s launch and, more importantly, pay tribute to Italy’s tenacity in the middle of the COVID pandemic, the luxury house hosted a two-day event in Bulgari Hotel Milan.

Italy was one of the many countries harshly hit by the pandemic. However, currently, Italy has almost half of its entire population vaccinated, and rollouts continue to advance.

 “Rome is our home city. A huge inspiration. But we know that Milano is the fashion capital of Italy. It’s the most outward-looking, international city. For us, it was a tribute to bring back some moments,” says Mauro Di Roberto.    

Bulgari Rome’s Jewelry Division Chief Mauro Di Roberto

“The [Milan City] Council was very happy to work with us because it was one way to show the population that life has to go on and we need to start living again, and it was quite successful.” The chief of Bulgari’s jewelry division in Rome adds that Magnifica is the brand’s most unique collection they’ve ever made. 

Merging handmade with technology 

In the production of every piece, Bulgari takes pride in handmade craftsmanship. In some cases, 2,500 hours of work is required to finish a single high-jewelry offering.

Considering the time it can produce one precious item, the Milan brand event showcased craftsmanship worth hundreds and thousands of hours of work. In total, the collection boasts 350 pieces of high-jewelry and watch finds. 

The Magnifica showroom in Bulgari’s brand event in Bulgari Hotel, Milan.

Considering the hundreds of designs Bulgari actively produces, it seems the jewelers can think up new ideas quickly. “I think the whole pandemic has forced all of us to be quite creative,” Di Roberto shares.

He continues narrating that the brand’s creativity sparks the moment they see a rare gem. From finding stones in irregular shapes and colors to asking their suppliers to cut the gem in a certain way, it’s the methods that assist them in producing innovative designs consistently. 

Photo courtesy of Bulgari

Although every piece’s creation is handmade, technology still plays a pivotal role in the process. And it’s seen most in the conceptualization of each product or the “studying phase.”

According to Di Roberto, digital software will assist in finding what volume, dimensions, and even how light will reflect on the materials. In this way, the brand can adjust each design to its most sublime version. And so, despite Bulgari’s predominant utilization of traditional jewelry making, technology is seen as a valuable tool.

Digital space

Like many brands powering through the pandemic, Bulgari had to intensify their digital presence and maintain connections with clients. Di Roberto gladly shared that the brand could “keep the line open” to customers with their sales associates being available through personal messaging.

With that, he noticed that the brand’s efforts to remain in contact with clients were appreciated by both young and older generations. In some cases, Bulgari would send high jewelry pieces to a client’s home so they can physically see, touch, and try on items. 

During the brand event: Bulgari’s long-time brand ambassador, Lily Aldridge, in jewels designed by creative director Lucia Silvestri (Photo courtesy of Bulgari)

When it comes to their performance in the digital marketplace, the jewelry director says that he was pleasantly surprised with Bulgari’s e-commerce turnout in the past year.

“The speed at which our industry grew was extremely high. We never thought that jewelry would be an important sales in e-commerce,” Di Roberto says. Pieces that range from unexpected prices of 3,000 to 5,000 euros have been a great success for the brand to retail online. 

Along with the unveiling of the Magnifica collection, Bulgari’s brand event was a celebration of joy after a challenging year. It could have also been a commemoration of how they’ve developed a more multifaceted jewelry brand even 137 years after its founding. 

Banner Photo courtesy of Bulgari

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