Mary Katrantzou’s romance with Bulgari began with a bang. The Italian jewelry company loaned its high jewelry for the fashion show the Greek-born, London-based designer staged at Athens’s Temple of Poseidon in October of 2019. The ancient monument, the couture gowns, the Aegean Sea spread out below it was a spectacular occasion purpose built to give back. The ticketed event raised funds for the Elpida Association, a children’s cancer charity.
Together Bulgari and Katrantzou have created a new group of handbags inspired by the jeweler’s most famous icon: the Serpenti. “We felt there was a strong synergy and mutual appreciation, so when they invited me to collaborate on accessories it felt like a natural continuation,” Katrantzou says. What’s remarkable is just how tactile the pieces are considering that all the development took place under COVID lockdowns—i.e. entirely remotely between Bulgari’s Roman headquarters and Katrantzou’s temporary home base in Athens.