Fascinating Story Of The Luxury Brand Moncler. Today, Rappers Love Their Puffer Jackets, But It All Started Much Smaller
Did you know that the brand first produced tents and ski clothing? Today it is one of the most interesting and innovative luxury fashion brands.
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"Pop bottles, make love, thug passion, red bottoms, Moncler, high fashion," raps Rick Ross in his song Diced Pineapples. You probably also remember the red jacket from Drake's Hotline Bling music video. After the rapper appeared in the video, their sales skyrocketed. The Maya model cost $1,150. "Walking 'round Atlanta in a purple Moncler," sings rapper Juice WRLD. And we could go on like this for a long time.
It can be said that the brand of down jackets has become a global phenomenon, which is popularly worn and mentioned especially by rappers as a sign of luxury. Moncler is celebrating its 70th anniversary and shared the whole story with its fans on its website.
The premium brand has long since become a symbol of much more than winter adventures, high-quality ski jackets and equipment. Luxury jackets have a tradition of more than half a century. In the article, we bring you the story of how a brand for climbers became a symbol of "hype fashion".
The down jacket was made famous by a mountaineer
The name Moncler you often hear in song lyrics is an abbreviation of Monestier-de-Clermont. It is a mountain village near the French town of Grenoble. The beginning of the brand goes back to this high mountain environment. In 1952, René Ramillion and André Vincent founded a company that began producing sleeping bags and functional clothing for the mountains and for skiing.
They were later approached to produce the first down jackets to protect workers from the cold in a small mountain factory. The quality of the clothing was noticed by the French mountaineer Lionel Terray. He asked Moncler to make jackets for his expeditions to the summit of K2 in the Himalayas. Since then, the brand has been producing clothing for expedition teams. It became a sponsor of the French downhill skiing team on the occasion of the Winter Olympic Games in Grenoble.
It gained attention thanks to a worldwide media campaign on television. It was an authentic company that created clothing suitable for both everyday wear and extreme weather conditions on the world's highest peaks.
From the mountains to the streets of Milan in soaked jackets
In 1986, people already registered Moncler down jackets in large numbers and they became a symbol of the 80s. Their colorful and timeless design allowed people to go from mountain skiing to the streets of Milan without having to change clothes. Colourful down outerwear flooded the streets as a sign of the pop culture youth movement
Teenagers met in front of Il Panino snack bar, hence the name Paninari. The trend of new jackets was complemented by young Italians with Timberland boots and blue jeans. However, the jackets were not water resistant. Jackets were very heavy when riding Vespas in the rain.
In 1989, French fashion designer Chantal Thomas took over the creative leadership. Compared to the sportswear design of fashion houses Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld at the time, the jackets did not look elegant. They were made of nylon, but Chantal added fur and satin to the jackets, replaced the zipper with buttons, making them a more elegant version. So even the richest cream of the crop could take these jackets for the winter holidays.
New creative director, new brand vision
"My dream was that one day we would say the word 'moncler' in common language and replace the word down jacket. I wanted to preserve the history and French origin of the brand, but make it something global," says Romeo Ruffini for Elledecor. An Italian entrepreneur bought the brand in 2003. He added a completely new dimension to it and especially secured a firm position in the world of fashion.
In an interview with Surfacemag, he mentions that Moncler has always been a part of his life. He registered the brand when he was 14 years old, because he loved skiing. When he found out that the brand was for sale in 2002, he didn't hesitate.
At the time he bought the brand, the sales weren't high. Despite its growing popularity, it was overshadowed by brands that offered quality winter clothing. They were, for example, Prada Sport, Gucci or less expensive The North Face and Patagonia. The profit of the brand was "only" $62 million at that time. By 2016, Ruffini had managed to increase sales to more than $685 million.
He was instrumental in revolutionizing the brand, which led to the version of Moncler you know today. Under his leadership, Moncler became a symbol of luxury and trends, especially for American rappers. His goal is to modernize the brand, to create collaborations with the most famous names in the fashion industry. "Celebrities wear our jackets in music videos and in everyday life. Often, we don't even know about it, it's perfect advertising," says Ruffini for Surfacemag.
Luminous jacket in collaboration with Palm Angels
Moncler regularly collaborates with designers and visionaries in the field of fashion and streetwear. This is evidenced by many collaborations, for example with brands such as Palm Angeles or Off White. The idea was to connect streetwear motifs with luxury clothing. The result was, for example, limited editions of "inflated" jackets or various accessories.
The luminous jacket was created on the occasion of the brand's 70th anniversary. Moncler has teamed up with Italian designer Francesco Ragazzi, who runs streetwear brand Palm Angels. He innovatively redesigned the Moncler Maya 70 model. The down jacket is special in that it hides an LED battery. When turned on, the entire jacket lights up. It costs 3,000 euros, it is currently sold out in all sizes.
A rubber jacket for 7,000 euros, decorated with feathers for 12,000 euros
As part of its 70th anniversary, Moncler approached seven world-renowned designers to reimagine the jackets according to their vision. In addition to the aforementioned Francesco Ragazzi, Thom Brown, Hiroshi Fujiwara, Rick Owens, Giambattista Valli, Pierpaolo Piccioli and Pharrell Williams also presented their version of Maya.
The Pharrell Williams version has a black rubberized appliqué with small logos and is priced at €7,000.
An interesting collaboration was the combination of Moncler and designer Giambattista Valli. He took the traditional winter jacket to a whole other level by adding feathers to it. If you want to stand out from the crowd during the winter, this jacket will definitely do it. The unusual piece costs 12,000 euros.
Thanks to collaborations to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Moncler, many interesting designs were created. The brand's constant creativity seems to be the key to its success.
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