September 23, 2016
LVMH-owned jewelry brand Bulgari is exuding the ultimate expression of dolce vita glamour with the unveiling of the restored Spanish Steps in Rome.
In 2014, as Bulgari celebrated its 130th anniversary, the jeweler pledged approximately $2 million for the restoration of the Spanish Steps over a two-year period. The project began in 2015, and worked to restore the iconic Italian landmark to its former glory after Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi asked private investors to aid in maintaining monuments throughout the country (see story).
On Sept. 22, Bulgari officially unveiled the restored Spanish Steps to the public. The official unveiling was attended by Bulgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin and the mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi, among other friends of the city and brand.
Using its branded Snapchat account, Bulgari gave its followers a private tour of the landmark as well as front row seats to the light show and performances hosted during the unveiling.
Image of the Spanish Steps courtesy of Bulgari
Similarly, when Fendi helped Rome complete the restoration of the Trevi Fountain over the course of 18 months, the fashion house choose the landmark as a venue for its spring/summer 2016 runway show (see story).
Bulgari also shared Instagram post that spoke to the cleaning, consolidating and protection processes that were involved in safeguarding and restoring the stone steps for future generations. Stills of the Spanish Steps, the Sept. 22 performances and vintage photos of celebrities on the steps were also shared.
"In 2014 we commemorated the 130th anniversary of the maison by adopting this marvelous jewel of baroque architecture," Bulgari's Mr. Babin said in a statement. "Today we are delighted to celebrate with the city the return of a monument which once again in its splendor represents the grandeur of Rome.
"For Bulgari the Steps are indissolubly linked to the identity of the maison and will always be associated with joy and glamour," he said. "We hope to be able to collaborate with Roma Capitale on other projects in the future, to continue to preserve and enhance the ineffable beauty that this unique city has to offer the world."
In addition to its social pushes and promotions, Bulgari, keeping to what it knows best, designed a one-off necklace inspired by the Spanish Steps. The piece, unveiled alongside the Steps, includes emeralds, sapphires, amethysts and rubellites set in white gold.
Bulgari's one-of-a-kind, Spanish Steps-inspired necklace
The Italian government has fallen on hard economic times, but its fashion houses have stepped in to assist in protecting their shared heritage.
In addition to the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain, the Roman Colosseum was restored with help from an Italian heritage brand.
Back in 2011, Tod’s Group pledged 25 million euros, at the time about $34 million, to help officials fund repairs of the landmark. Along with an unveiling event on July 1, Tod’s created a corresponding digital project that takes consumers inside the process (see story).