By Brecken Branstrator
The Marina B. jewelry brand, started by Marina Bulgari in 1978, has changed hands a few times and now is under new ownership.
New York--Italian jewelry brand Marina B., started by Marina Bulgari, third generation of the Bulgari family, is under new ownership.

Guy Bedarida, the former creative director at John Hardy who also worked at Van Cleef & Arpels and Boucheron, has taken a majority ownership stake in the luxury jewelry brand. The deal closed at the end of June.

He now also will serve as the creative director for Marina B.

Bedarida was the designer and creative director at John Hardy from 1998 to 2015, after which he sold his stake in the company.

He told National Jeweler that after he left that position, he was eager to return to the world of high jewelry. But, rather than starting his own business, he wanted to find a “sleeping beauty” to revamp, and was thrilled to discover the possibility that Marina B. was for sale.

20170728 Guy BedaridaGuy BedaridaMarina Bulgari started her jewelry brand in 1978, branching out from the family business to create her own business and look. Her signature designs featured contoured gold and black enamel inlay, gemstones mounted on steel or black gold, and recognizable motifs, like rounded triangle cuts on gems to resemble a lotus bud or inverted heart.

She sold her brand in 1999 to Saudi Arabian sheik of Jeddah, Ahmed Fitaihi. A little more than a decade later, in 2010, it was again acquired by Paul Lubetsky, CEO of Windsor Jewelers, a buyer and seller of both estate and contemporary jewelry in New York.

Marina B. will be based in New York, with Bedarida spending his time among there, Asia and Italy.

Windsor Jewelers will retain a minority stake in the company and will collaborate on operational fronts to help manage the company in the United States, Bedarida said.

(Marina B. currently is seeking a president to run the day-to-day operations and a marketing executive.)

Bedarida said his goal will be to bring back classic Marina B. designs, inspired by more than 12,000 hand-drawn sketches that have been updated for the market, as well as creating new collections that keep in mind the brand’s DNA.

Its business strategy moving forward, he said, will include three tiers of product: one-of-a-kind high jewelry, the classic Marina B. collection and a wearable collection aimed at the millennial customer.

Price points will range from $8,000 up to $3 million.

The new ownership initially will focus on boosting distribution in the U.S. market through one-of-a-kind and exclusive collections with Saks and Neiman Marcus as well as establishing new independent retailer partners.

The first new lines of product will be available for spring and fall 2018.

Bedarida also said that “a flagship (retail location) in Italy will be soon a must,” as well as a buildup of the brand in Europe and the Middle East.

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