14 Sep 2021

The history of Bvlgari Serpenti: from jewelry to accessories

Bvlgari unveils a new collection of leather accessories for Fall/Winter 2021 season. The bags catch an eye due to non-traditional combinations of materials, altered proportions as well as new colors. On this occasion, the Vremena Goda Galleries’ team recalls the Bvlgari history together with the cult Serpenti motif, whose metamorphoses make the focal point of a new collection.

Brand history

The Italian company Bvlgari was founded by the Greek jeweler Sotirios Bulgaris. He launched his first business at the end of the 19th century in his native village Paramitia, Greece, later he moved to Naples and finally settled in Rome. There, in 1884, Sotirios Bulgaris opened a store and named it in the Italian manner S. Bulgari,

First Bvlgari boutique in Rome
First Bvlgari boutique in Rome

In 1905, Bulgari and his sons opened a new Old Curiosity Shop on Via Dei Condotti, which and now remains the brand's flagship boutique. The company started specializing in jewelry and gained a reputation of the best luxury jewelry maker. Rome has always been brand’s inexhaustible source of inspiration, and its symbols have been involved in the collections. To emphasize brand's connection with the history and heritage of the Eternal City, in 1934, in the name of the boutique there for the first time was used the letter "V", which in the Latin alphabet is equivalent to the modern "U".

Bvlgari Old Curiosity Shop
Bvlgari Old Curiosity Shop

Iconic Serpenti motif

In the late 1940s, Bvlgari was successful in developing the direction of wristwatch making. In the 50s, it was for the first time when brand turned to the image of a snake. Then the first watches from the Serpenti collection were created, which translates from Italian as "snakes".

Serpenti watches
Serpenti watches

The watch model was complemented by a Tubogas bracelet, which featured long bands of gold or steel. Like a snake they twined around the wrist to end with a bejeweled serpentine head with a dial. This motif has become the main Bvlgari “code”, which allows easy identification of the brand products. Since the 50s, watches have changed shape and color combinations, but the symbol of a wise and refined snake has remained unchanged. Following the bracelet watches, over time, the Serpenti line was supplemented with necklaces, rings and other pieces of jewelry. And in 2011, paying tribute to the legendary watch, the Bvlgari designers presented the iconic collection of Serpenti bags.

Bvlgari Serpenti Bags

The snake head, which is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for the brand, serves as a main link between the jewelry universe and the world of Bvlgari accessories. The designers of the House have developed a bag lock in the shape of this reptile.

Bvlgari bag lock
Bvlgari bag lock

The lock is made by all the canons of jewelry art. First, a brass workpiece is cast, which afterwards gets polished, covered with gold or enamel, and sometimes completely encrusted with diamonds. For the snake’s eyes, jewelers use onyx, malachite, lapis lazuli as well as other natural stones. It takes up to 30 days of time-consuming handwork to create a jewelry clasp.

Serpenti Forever

One of the Bvlgari "icons" is the Serpenti Forever bag. Each season, the House redesigns this bestseller, including collaborating with famous designers. For example, in 2019 there was collaboration with New York-based designer Alexander Wang. More recently, Mary Katrantzou, Greek fashion designer has reinterpreted the classic Serpenti Forever collection.

Bvlgari x Alexander Wan

Bvlgari x Alexander Wang

Bvlgari x Mary Katrantzou

Bvlgari x Mary Katrantzou

This fall, Bvlgari is launching its new Serpenti Forever bag in a rich aquamarine shade. The Serpenti Forever in laquered calfskin literally shines with a glossy liquid trimming. Another newsworthy novelty is the Serpenti Forever Shaded Karung, made using innovative digital printing techniques. The pearlescent effect is achieved by a scattering of iridescent pearls as well as the application of a special foil with the radiance effect.

Serpenti Forever

Serpenti Forever

Serpenti Forever Shaded Karung

Serpenti Forever Shaded Karung

Serpenti Cabochon

The Serpenti Cabochon bag is one of the most striking in the brand history. This model makes a great example of a luxury item that has become functional while remaining outstanding. It is larger, but not the kind of bag you grab when going shopping. The Serpenti Cabochon bag is distinguished by luxurious softness, resembling the smooth surface of precious stones in Bvlgari's beloved cabochon cut.

The updated Serpenti Cabochon, launched this fall, bursts into the new season with a fresh Maxi Soft Quilted look. The body of the bag is crafted from delicate calfskin with a graphic quilting motif in bold new proportions. The texture of the bag is achieved by applying up to 8 layers of high-tech foamed material, which preserves the volume and shape of the quilted fabric.

Serpenti Cabochon

Serpenti Cabochon

Serpenti Cabochon

The traditional snake head clasp is topped with dangling stones, and the chain can be wrapped around the wrist and worn like a precious clutch. The large, detachable shoulder strap is crafted from calfskin to ensure an extra level of comfort. The novelty is available in three sizes and colors: coal-black, "blushing quartz" or "creamy opal".

Serpenti Cabochon

Serpenti Cabochon

Serpenti Cabochon

Serpenti Forever Maxi Chain

The Serpenti Maxi Chain line of bags first appeared in 2020. The fashion items of this collection are adorned with a chain using the gourmet weaving technique. For Bvlgari, the voluminous chain makes a special meaning: it complements many brands’ chokers. The leather flap of the bag is traditionally crowned with a snake head.

Serpenti Forever Maxi Chain

Serpenti Forever Maxi Chain

The Serpenti chain saga goes on with an exciting new chapter. This season, the Serpenti Maxi Chain bag made of nappa leather is adorned with a striking chain handle, either to match the bag's color or contrast it. All models are equipped with a convenient wide removable shoulder strap, to ensure the bag can be carried in a variety of ways.

Serpenti Forever Maxi Chain

Serpenti Forever Maxi Chain

Serpenti Forever Maxi Chain

Serpenti Diamond Blast

The Serpenti Diamond Blast bag collection was designed as an alternative to the classic Serpenti Forever. In contrast, it is more spacious and is perfect for wearing all day long.

This season, Bvlgari unveils a new model with three turquoise chains of different widths, outlining the geometric shape of the bag. A new round of Serpenti Diamond Blast evolution begins with the emergence of a natural material - raffia. Both classic and miniature shoulder bags, decorated with fringes, are now available in this material.

Serpenti Diamond Blast

Serpenti Diamond Blast

Serpenti Diamond Blast из рафии

Serpenti Diamond Blast из рафии

Serpenti exotic leather bags

Bvlgari does value exotic leather. For the 2021 season, the brand presents three python and alligator leather bags in the most unexpected shades.

The Serpenti Afterglow Python Bag is crafted from python ventral part leather. First, caftsmen do hand-made painting by using an airbrush. Then, the pigment is carefully applied with a sponge, which allows to achieve a three-dimensional effect. The snake head clasp is decorated with gray mother-of-pearl. The bag is completed with a practical, detachable shoulder strap.

Serpenti Afterglow Python
Serpenti Afterglow Python

The brand also introduces the Serpenti Nebulous Python bag with a psychedelic, a kind of foggy pattern. The item is made of natural material from the ventral part of python skin, which first is dyed in a drum to acquire the shade of caramel topaz, and then the deep garnet pigment is manually applied with a sponge to achieve a tie-dye effect.

Serpenti Nebulous Python
Serpenti Nebulous Python

Another novelty is the Serpenti Himalayan Croco model. Varying in tones from white to beige and gray, this exclusive alligator leather first is bleached in half and then drum dyed. The snake's head is crowned with piercing onyx eyes.

Serpenti Himalayan Croco
Serpenti Himalayan Croco