Legendary Roman jeweler Bulgari has reclaimed its prime corner of The Crown Building at the Southwest corner of 57th Street and Fifth Avenue after an extensive renovation, and it looks like it has taken a few cues from its neighbor across the street, Tiffany, and also...Whole Foods? No, no they haven't installed an organic salad bar, but in recognition of Tiffany's "come one, come all" popularity, the company has done away with its opulent but intimidating façade in favor of airy windows and glass doors that automatically slide open just like...a supermarket!
Don't think that this means Bulgari is trading down, although in recent years they have expanded their product range dramatically in order to transform themselves from an exclusive maker of gems to an international luxury brand. They are still plenty fancy, but they want to show it off a bit more. The now airy main floor is devoted to unique jewelry pieces as well as the ever expanding watch line. There we found the eye-popping showpieces the company is known for but also the more accessibly priced BZero1 line for Bulgari beginners. The second floor and newly created mezzanine house the accessory collections, an opportunity to continue expanding their brand beyond jewelry, following the templates of Cartier and, yes, Tiffany. To celebrate the new store opening, Bulgari will be releasing new versions of one of their signature items from the past, necklaces featuring Fifth Century BC roman coins. It reminds The Shophound of the days when tight jeans, a white silk shirt and a Bulgari coin necklace were the calling card of the international jet set.
Bulgari 730 Fifth Avenue at 57th Street, Midtown