The more rapidly the world changes, the more the development of technologies accelerates, the more the need for benchmarks is felt. Like the family or the home, certain objects constitute refuges allowing us to reconnect with a form of authenticity – real or fantasized. Jewelery creations are one of them. Derived from ancestral know-how, solid, durable, these intimate ornaments anchor individuals in time immemorial, (re) connecting them to the inalienable truth of a metal or a precious stone.
However, jewelry is not a dusty industry. Take Bulgari. Founded in 1884, the Italian house, now owned by the LVMH group, brilliantly combines high jewelry on one side – its daring combinations of precious stones and colors have marked the history of the decorative arts – and ultra-contemporary creations by the other. The past and the future, tradition and modernity, two temporalities that the brand continues to bring into dialogue.
The latest example: the B.Zero1 Rock collection, launched with great fanfare during New York Fashion Week, last February. Behind this cryptic name hides a new interpretation of B.Zero1, Bulgari’s star line, launched in 1999 – the B. refers to the name of the brand, while the Zero1 indicates the first collection of the new millennium. Sculptural jewelry inspired by the circularity of the Colosseum, rings, pendants and bracelets are now adorned with rows of gold studs, black ceramic and even diamonds.
Behind these aesthetic choices, a desire to stick with the times and to seduce the younger generations, far from gender labels. “A few years ago, we noticed that many men were buying B.Zero1 parts, not just for their wife or partner, but for themselves. We therefore wanted this new collection to be openly unisex. For example, studs are a classic in jewelry worn by both men and women. They give a more geometric and contemporary side to this line, ”explains Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of Bulgari. For 2020, the brand has also renewed its team of muses with African-American star Zendaya, British actress Naomi Scott and American supermodel Lily Aldridge, not to mention Chinese-Canadian singer and actor Kris Wu. very diversified, something still rare among great jewelers.
It must be said that since its inception, B.Zero1 has been intended to shake up established codes. “Twenty years ago, women’s jewelry was a world of finesse and delicacy. The brand, she arrived with a monumental design ring. It was a very daring proposal, ”says Jean-Christophe Babin. The CEO adds that this collection has revolutionized the Bulgari house itself. “In the 1980s and 1990s, we were still a medium-high jewelry house and we hardly had a collection intended for everyday wear. B.Zero1 truly marked the brand’s entry, in a powerful, global and massive way, into the main jewelry market. ”
Bold and innovative, yes. However, the B.Zero1 collection is strongly rooted in Bulgari’s history, since the body of the first ring used the famous Tubogas, a spring motif woven through long and thin bands of gold wound between them. A stylistic signature that has undergone several reinterpretations over the past twenty years, in smooth steel sculpted by the artist Anish Kapoor in 2010, openwork like lace by the architect Zaha Hadid in 2013.
“It’s not easy to reinterpret iconic pieces, because you have to know how to innovate without distorting their personality,” says Lucia Silvestri, artistic director of Bulgari jewelry. For B.Zero1 Rock, the idea is really to allow young people to play with different metals and different sizes of jewelry. It is a collection that can easily be mixed with other pieces that we already own. It’s really about being able to express your personality. ”