Considering today’s consumers and their ever-growing demand for new collections, incidentally something that can only be out-sped by the rate at which they shift their attentions and brand loyalties, it is no wonder designers like Raf Simons, Alber Elbaz, Phoebe Philo, among others have all, in one way of another, bemoaned the industry’s breathless pace toward creative and mental burnout.
Now, it seems, the brainchild of Moncler, CEO and creative director, Remo Ruffini is trying to fix this fashion’s catch-22 by replacing his brand’s seasonal runway lines with monthly collections created in collaboration with guest designers.
Dubbed Moncler Genius, the new brand strategy leverages on the talents of eight designers: Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli, Kei Ninomiya of Noir Kei Ninomiya, Craig Green, Simone Rocha, Hiroshi Fujiwara of Fragment, Francesco Ragazzi of Palm Angels, stylist Karl Templer and in-house Moncler Grenoble designer Sandro Mandrino.
The first instalments of the strategy will be unveiled today at Milan Fashion Week at the Moncler Genius Building — a building made up of what the brand calls “different cells, each one devoted to a singular mind, all of them adding facets of the Moncler identity.” The collections will include jackets, knitwear and accessories and will arrive one at a time in Moncler stores, online and at select wholesale partners each month starting in June.
We spoke to Ruffini about the new initiative, his vision for the brand, and changing consumer perceptions.
Tell us about the situation and state of Moncler when you took over in 2003.
The great heritage and history of Moncler was the main reason I was attracted to the brand. It was quite unique to find a brand with such an outstanding heritage and strong DNA. I truly believe that is the integrity of the past which holds the key to a healthy future. I am respectful of the DNA I had acquired, which is always present in the brand's evolution together with our commitment to quality combined to design and innovation.
What was your vision for Moncler? How has Moncler developed since 2003?
Since the very beginning, end 2003, when I bought the brand, the goal was to bring Moncler in the future starting from its origins. My aim was to roll out a ‘global down jacket’ strategy all over the world. It was very important to communicate that Moncler is the jacket for all occasions. The brand’s evolution has become urban never renouncing the sporty spirit that is always present in Moncler’s soul. This is what we really wanted since the beginning, starting with a great product and an outstanding history. Nothing to archive but definitely to develop. In line with the brand philosophy, above and beyond pre-set trends and outlines, Moncler has constantly found new ways of expressing itself offering through the years new interpretations of the concept of the quilted jacket, proposing an individual and unrestrained style.
Do you consider Moncler a sportswear label or a luxury one?
Moncler is an Italian luxury outwear brand that goes beyond the usual categories.
How is the Moncler Genius Building representative of the brand’s new approach?
Moncler Genius acknowledges the singularity of the customers and the variety of their tastes, exploring fragmentation as an asset. We do consider multiplicity our strength.
An ice carving of the Moncler Genius Group.
What are you trying to achieve with Moncler Genius?
We are signing a new era for the brand, a genuine revolution, a bold leap forward that will bring the company towards a new creative direction throughout the Moncler Genius project. The Moncler Genius project includes creatives, chosen on instinct to shape Moncler’s uniqueness. As a hub of exceptional minds, Moncler Genius strives for invention and innovation that customers will fully use and enjoy under the byline: one house, different voices, speaking of uniqueness to our clients, one by one, with relentless pace and one language, Moncler’s language. The creative DNA of each designer morphs with the Moncler DNA, creating a new identity that is authentic to both.
Changing a brand’s offering and practises is one thing—how do you change consumers’ perception of the brand?
What all our customers have in common is a demand to wear a high-quality product which combines excellent technical aspects while being stylish and comfortable at the same time. Timeless elegance, vibrant, modern, cutting-edge. These Moncler values are both historic and current and have won the affection, loyalty and constant attention of international customers as well as people from a variety of fields. Looking forward, I believe that maintaining the brand’s perception would be key in the coming years in order to keep Moncler’s momentum in the market, with a strong digital focus. With Moncler Genius the action is taken one step further with a bold leap forward, a vision of the future.
Pierpaolo Piccioli's set up at Moncler Genius.
Moncler 1952's set up.
Moncler's skiwear arm, the Grenoble's set up.
British designer Simone Rocha's set up at Moncler Genius.
British designer Craig Green's set up at Moncler Genius.
Japanese label, Noir Kei Ninomiya's set up at Moncler Genius.
Japanese designer, Hiroshi Fujiwara's set up at Moncler Genius.
Palm Angels' set up at Moncler Genius.
Click here for more information on Moncler Genius.
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