Photography: Shelby Ricci
Photography: Shelby Ricci
Photography: Shelby Ricci
Standing behind the Bulgari brand are more than 130 years of history.
Founded in Rome in 1884, its product lines from fine jewelry to watches to hotels are instantly recognizable.
As it carves out a new path through the present, the selective luxury goods giant has decided to open a brand new store in the Philadelphia region at the King of Prussia mall. This is only Bulgari’s twentieth store in North America ranging from New York to Hawaii to Canada.
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Daniel Paltridge, the President of Bulgari North America, who happens to be darling and incredibly down-to-earth.
On choosing the Philadelphia region:
“It’s been on our radar for a while because of the success of the overall mall and the brands here. It was always a question of adding the right location. When [the King of Prussia mall] decided to open the brand new luxury wing, it gave the brands opportunities to have a significant presence, full stores, and more space to play with, plus natural light. We’re very selective in terms of where we go. Each place we look at, we go, ‘Do we believe we can tell our story?'”
On sharing the Bulgari story without over-saturating markets:
“It’s a delicate balance. It’s typically one store, one city. Also, it’s the creativity of design and having something very distinctive. A lot of our pieces are one-of-a-kind, which is not always reproduced in significant quantity, and that makes it really special.”
On joining Bulgari:
“Bulgari stands out. There’s an absolutely magical heritage and DNA behind the brand. It’s the Roman high jeweler, bold and distinctive. It’s the master of color gemstones. What interests me is this great story, which resonates. The DNA of Rome flows through everything we do. Perhaps it’s not for everybody, but we don’t necessarily want it to be. Rome, color, and creativity set us apart.”
On the secrets to success:
“You have to be very loyal and consistent to your core beliefs at the end of the day. I think staying humble is super important as well, especially when you work in luxury goods. We have these incredibly expensive, magnificent, one-of-a-kind pieces, which is a pleasure to be around, but keeping that humility is very important.
Humility is something not necessarily you learn but something within yourself. I think the most successful people within luxury goods have this element of humility that keeps them grounded.”
On Philly cheesesteaks:
“The last time I tried one was four years ago! It was downtown Philadelphia somewhere.”
Now that Bulgari is in the Philadelphia region, I’m sure we can find a way to resolve Daniel’s cheesesteak situation. His message of humility resonated with me most, as it’s something I also strongly believe.
It was wonderful to experience the Bulgari story for myself and to try on such iconic pieces. The Serpenti collection is one of their most distinct, and I found the gold bracelet a personal favorite.
Are you a Bulgari fan? What parts of the interview did you find most interesting?
We’re bringing Louisville to Philadelphia tonight! I’m so thrilled to be a fashion judge for West Laurel Hill’s fifth annual Kentucky Derby Party, which benefits Hope Springs Equestrian Therapy. It’s a great charity event for an organization that provides therapeutic horseback riding to individuals with a range of disabilities. I chose this darling bow fascinator instead of a large hat. If you’ll be joining us, bring your ‘A’ game!
BALAYAGE AND COLOR MELT C/O BOBBY MACK & CO HAIR STUDIO
Because I’ve been traumatized by terrible hair experiences in the past, when I find a great stylist, I’m forever loyal. After moving from Georgia back to the Philadelphia area, I had to find a new salon. I discovered Bobby Mack & Co Hair Studio by chance through raving reviews on Yelp. After careful consideration, I stepped into my first appointment with Erin in October 2015 when the studio was still on 17th & South Streets. I’ve never looked back.
Since then, the growth for this team has been exponential; a few weeks ago, they moved to a new, larger location a few blocks away on the corner of 20th & South Streets. It’s a beautiful, open space with a family feel, especially since it’s run by namesake Bobby Mack and his darling fiancé, James. What I love is the authenticity of the team and the service. As soon as you walk in, you’re greeted and offered your pick of coffee, tea, water (and yes, even wine).
Most importantly, they really know hair. I trust them so much that I’ll make appointments with a general idea then let them work their magic. I highly recommend Bobby and also my girl, Erin; they’re the only two who have cut and colored my hair so far. But scroll through their Instagram and you can see all of the stylists are on point. My coloring appointment took about three hours. In short, the process involves carefully hand-painting different sections of hair, wrapping them in foil, letting them melt under heat, rinsing, toning, and applying gloss.
One thing to note: because they are growing so quickly, sometimes colorists double-book (i.e.: apply your color in the time another client has to sit for a good amount of time under the heat with highlights already applied). While just about every great salon does this for maximum efficiency and to make sure they can accommodate every client, if this would bother you, just let them know when booking the appointment. And also make sure to schedule your appointments as far in advance as possible! They are extremely friendly and as flexible as possible.
What do you look for in a stylist? If you end up trying this salon, I’d love to hear about your experience!