Photo Credit: Bulgari
Daniel Paltridge, the dynamic president of Bulgari North America, discusses the new millennial customer and what New Yorkers are buying now.
Who is the Bulgari customer at your flagship?
There’s a real mix of local and international buyers. Because of our flagship’s location on Fifth and 57th—probably the prime spot for luxury retailing in the world—we get a lot of international customers. There’s also a real mix of men and women, even though the women’s side of our business is the dominant one. Jewelry is one of the most romantic gifts a man can buy for a woman, but many more women are buying jewelry as self-purchases these days.
How do you think the first generation of digital natives will impact the luxury market?
We find that millennials are incredibly eager to research information about brands before they set foot in the store. They come in with a level of knowledge that is far more advanced than with previous generations.
How do you feel smartwatches will impact the luxury watch sector?
A digital watch is something very different. They definitely (won’t) replace what luxury brands offer.
What are your best-selling men’s watches in New York?
We have an almost iconic watch, the Octo, which was launched in 2012 and was inspired by the architecture of Rome. It has already gained a very loyal following.
And the best-selling women’s items at the 57th Street flagship?
The Serpenti necklace and bracelets. We also have a collection called Divas’ Dream, which we launched two years ago and has had huge success. And the B.zero1 collection of rings and pendants.
What Bulgari watch do you wear?
I wear a few. Today I have on a Bulgari Octo Chronograph with a rose gold dial. It’s very comfortable on the wrist.
Since becoming president of Bulgari, which initiatives have given you the greatest satisfaction?
A couple come to mind. The renovation of our flagship store (which will be finished next year). Another was the launch of our worldwide brand campaign in New York with our new brand ambassador, Lily Aldridge.
Are there any plans to bring Bulgari hotels to New York or to other parts of the U.S.?
It is something very prominent on our agenda. With the amount of development in the city right now, there are constant conversations.
If you’re having lunch with another luxury-goods CEO, where do you go?
Le Bilboquet. You’re sure to bump into four other people you know. I like the energy and the conviviality.
What’s been the best luxury dining experience you’ve had in New York?
I have had many, but the one that stays in my mind the most was a dinner I had at 11 Madison Park.
Photo Credit: Bulgari