The merging of two icons can be a daunting task. There are larger-than-life identities to fuse, respective visions to align. Such concerns, however, did not seem to affect Bulgari in 2015, when it invited star architect Zaha Hadid to reimagine its most famous jewel, the B.zero1 – and the result of this collaboration will make its European debut at a special Selfridges pop-up from Friday January 27 to Wednesday March 1.
The original B.zero1, unveiled in 1999, is the Italian house personified, its bold design an amalgam of two signature motifs – the “gas pipe” tubogas and the double logo – with a nod to the shape of Rome’s Colosseum. The buildings of the late, great Hadid are equally distinctive, their flowing forms having earned her the nickname Queen of the Curve, not to mention a string of prestigious awards.
Her reimagining of the ring, named the B.zero1 Design Legend, removes the original core and replaces the looping bands with a swell of golden waves. Unmistakeably Hadid in its dynamism, it channels a trend for light openwork jewellery and is available as a four-band ring in rose gold (£1,860) or as a three-band version in white gold (£1,750) or rose gold (£1,580). A rose-gold pendant (£2,270) caps the line-up.
Hadid – who was a keen jewellery fan and designer herself – had already worked on Bulgari’s installations at the Abu Dhabi Art Fair in 2011 and Milan Design Week 2014. “Intellectually, we felt she was part of the family,” says Bulgari jewellery global marketing director Boris Barboni. “She was a woman who never compromised on design. The partnership was fluid and organic” – much like Hadid’s B.zero1.