Remo Ruffini, the CEO of Moncler, knew he wanted to be involved with the French label before he had even reached adulthood. ‘I bought my first jacket when I was a teenager and at that time Moncler was very popular amongst the young,’ says the fashion entrepreneur. ‘Since that first purchase, I dreamt about being a part of such an incredible brand with a unique history.’
Ruffini went on to acquire Moncler in 2003, and since then he has transformed the label – which was founded in 1952 as a sleeping bag, hooded cape and tent brand – into a luxury powerhouse comprising a number of sub-labels under the main line.
Moncler Gamme Bleu, its men’s line designed by Thom Browne, shows in Milan; Moncler Gamme Rouge, its women's line headed by Giambattista Valli, shows in Paris; and Moncler Grenoble, which debuted in New York in 2010, is considered by Ruffini to be the core of the Moncler family. ‘New York is unique and the energy you feel there is close to one achieved through sporting activity and competition – the spirit of the Moncler Grenoble collection’, he explains.
Moncler Grenoble staged a Doctor Zhivago-inspired winter ball for its A/W 2017 show
‘The name originates from the place the brand was founded in 1952,’ Ruffini adds. ‘With Moncler Grenoble, the brand has gone back to its roots and reclaimed its history with a precise choice of heritage style and technical performance.’
For its A/W 2017 show, the brand transformed Hammerstein Ballroom into a magical winter ball inspired by a scene from Doctor Zhivago, with a static filter that evoked dashes of Stanley Kubrick and Luchino Visconti. White chandeliers hung from the ceiling, while elaborate tables bordered the edge of the stage. Derek Blasberg hosted the show, which was comprised 80 models sporting designs in plaids, pinks and whimsical florals, inspired by vintage skiwear from the 1970s, 80s and 90s.
The Hammerstein Ballroom was dramatically transformed
‘The collection is split into three sections’ explains Ruffini. ‘The first, features high performance garments relating to functionality and high technical fabric use, to meet the most extreme needs under challenging weather conditions. The second is focused on performance and style, dedicated to the functional necessity of skiwear, and the third is après-ski, characterised mostly by day-to-day wearable garments on the slopes, which translate perfectly to the city.’
The brand, which has collaborated with Off-White, Mary Katrantzou, and LA artists Friends With You has two more partnerships to come this year. ‘We frequently collaborate with designers with the key goal of keeping the brand DNA alive, whilst injecting a new innovative and creative vision,’ says Ruffini.
With high profile collaborations and extravagant runway sets, this is a strategy sure to boost customer activity. ‘There is no unique formula,’ Ruffini says of his approach to encouraging social media engagement. ‘…But if you want consumers to follow you as a brand, you need to place them at the centre of your brand activity, communicating consistently and offer them the highest quality of product.’