Enjoying the scene at Bulgari are Mark Rhoades, Mireille Schwartz (sporting a Karen Caldwell original coat), Karen Caldwell, Oliver Caldwell Photo: Drew Altizer
A city buzz for months, the evening finally arrived on Tuesday March 2 for the grand opening of the fabulous Bulgari store in Union Square. Six hundred guests meandered around the new three story Bulgari boutique, sipping cocktails and admiring the bold and colorful Bulgari wares. At 13,000 square feet, the Bulgari SF boutique is the largest in the United States.
The Bulgari story begins in 1884 when Greek silversmith Sotirio Bulgari moved to Rome, Italy and opened his first shop, which offered handcrafted silver objects. In the early 20th century Sotirio's sons, Costantino and Giorgio took over the family business and incorporated watches and jewelry with precious stones into the line. After WWII, the business shifted focus to what would become their signature style - a large and dramatic look inspired by Greco-Roman classicism. By the 1950s and 60s, distinctive Bulgari caught the attention of American celebrities such as Jackie Kennedy and Elizabeth Taylor. Today Bulgari is a diverse luxury brand offering jewelry, watches, leather goods, fragrances, skin-care, and spas/resorts.
The festivities Tuesday night were hosted by Bulgari Vice Chairman and the founder's grandson, Nicola Bulgari and included demonstrations of jewelry crafting and a display of one-of-a-kind Bulgari jewelry pieces from the Vintage Archive Collection. Black was the color of choice for most attendees, but dashes of spring colors unexpectedly popped out among the crowd - worn by Sonya Molodetskaya in Oscar de la Renta fuchsia (pictured right with Willie Brown, Photo: Drew Altizer), Kate Harbin in Prada red, and Karen Tamblyn in Ache sky blue.
The beautiful Bulgari store is open and awaiting your arrival. Bulgari, 200 Stockton St., San Francisco.