Collaborations in fashion are as ubiquitous (and, some might say, overhyped) today as Supreme logo stickers on luggage. The one Moncler debuts in stores this month, though, is far from the usual “Insert-name-of-label x insert-name-of-guest-designer” concept though. In fact, it’s so unexpected that it rewrites what we know of fashion crossovers altogether.
Its name: Moncler Genius – a hint at its ambitiousness. Revealed at Milan Fashion Week this February, it sees eight celebrated names in fashion with vastly varying aesthetics each creating a collection – complete and numbered – for the brand. There’s Pierpaolo Piccioli (#1), Valentino’s reigning prince of sublime elegance; more contemporary stars like Craig Green (#5) and Simone Rocha (#4); and even super stylist Karl Templer (#2), known for giving classic womanliness a razor-sharp edge.
Diversity is definitive to this new strategy. The brand’s CEO and creative director Remo Ruffini says: “Since the beginning, we’ve had a simple and clear strategy (of) attracting different customers – from youngsters to businessmen to ladies going to the theatre or gala… It was clear in my mind that all the designers needed to be very different, in order to embrace a different group of consumers with each collection.”
This is even more important when the idea of fashion seasons is increasingly irrelevant, he says. “This world is really much more fast. I don’t think there are seasons any more, and I don’t think that shows (that look forward) six months (ahead) really help the customer.” It might explain why last November – prior to the unveiling of Genius – the brand announced that it was stopping its seasonal Gamme Bleu and Gamme Rouge lines, helmed by the equally hotshot Thom Browne and Giambattista Valli respectively.
Conversely, each collection from Genius will “drop” (yes, a la Supreme) monthly, though not in sequence of their assigned numbers. The first – hitting stores this month – would be line #7 by Hiroshi Fujiwara of Japanese streetwear phenomenon Fragment. “Moncler Genius is our vision of the future; a vision that goes beyond seasons to establish a daily dialogue with the consumers through the monthly drops,” says Ruffini. Are you already in line?
This story first appeared in Female’s June 2018 print issue.