70th anniversary | Aphrodite


70th anniversary

Aphrodite and Moncler Behind the Scenes

As Moncler celebrate their 70th anniversary – from humble beginnings in a French alpine village to globally-renowned fashion behemoth – it felt like an opportune moment to reflect on our own unique partnership with the brand and offer up rare insight behind the scenes.

Aphrodite x Moncler – The Early Days

Although the quality of Moncler’s products is unfathomably high and their position within the world of contemporary fashion undeniable, the attraction for Aphrodite founders, Andy and Duncan, runs deeper than merely selling cool jackets.
With their origins steeped firmly in family business territory, Moncler’s heritage and integrity permeates everything they touch. These core values mirror those of our sibling founders and have formed the backbone of the Aphrodite business over the past three decades and counting.

“Originally, the ambition was to bolster our assortment of premium brands and supply sought-after pieces to a local audience”, reflect Andy and Duncan. In the AW11 season, Aphrodite became official stockists of Moncler and began a legacy of doing just that. “The ongoing expansion of our online business and flourishing partnership with the Italian brand, means we now satisfy the demand of a global market and ship our Moncler, Moncler Grenoble and Moncler Genius collections worldwide”.

As a result, the Moncler product range has grown at Aphrodite with each passing season and along with it the scale of the buying operation.

Moncler Window Display

Aphrodite x Moncler – Buying: Behind the Scenes

To give you a flavour of Aphrodite’s burgeoning relationship with the brand, allow us to transport you to Milan to experience (vicariously at least) a day in the life of an Aphrodite buyer at a seasonal appointment at Moncler HQ.

Hitching a morning flight from Newcastle to Milan at some ungodly hour, the Aphrodite buying team – beers in hand, as is customary – fine tune their itinerary and prepare for the familiar warm welcome from our long-term partners at Moncler. It’s always a pleasure, never a chore.

Touching down and checking into the nhow hotel – a stone’s throw from the bustling waterway of the Naviglio Grande – has become something of a ritual but it’s also a calculated choice of abode. Situated in Milan’s unofficial design hub, the hotel is a convenient 20 minute taxi ride from Milan’s Malpensa airport and positioned right round the corner from the Moncler showroom on Via Andrea Solari. The hotel itself epitomises the swathe of excitement and creativity that has engulfed the district in recent years. Resplendent with bold furnishings in primary colours, cast against exposed pipes and packaged in a brutalist-esque concrete shell, the nhow is the perfect Lombardy basecamp.

When you’re in Italy, you’re going to want gelato. That goes without saying. For brothers Andy and Duncan, along with our Head Buyer Craig, nothing accompanies a saunter along the sunlit Naviglio Grande canal to the Moncler showroom quite like a soothing ice cold flavour hit in a tub; espresso and stracciatella is an especially satisfying combo. The distinction between gelato and ice cream is an important one, urges Craig. Typically churned at a slower rate and containing less fat and sugar than ice cream, gelato is an altogether denser and creamier consistency than its more commonly-scoffed frozen brethren. This icy delicacy ought to be submerged and covered with a lid for optimal temperature maintenance.

Sound a bit much? Well, this level of care and attention to finer detail is a hallmark Moncler themselves epitomise. The hospitality shown to our squad of buyers is as fine-tuned and considered as you will find anywhere throughout the buying season. Indeed, the exquisite branded chocolates received upon entrance to accompany a perfectly brewed espresso, are not there by accident.

Encased in exposed brickwork, multiple collections are suspended from rails spanning the parameter of the lofty showroom. In the centre of the room exhibited on black marble are footwear and a range of enticing accessories and luggage.

Products are selected, numbers are crunched. Certain details must remain truly behind the scenes but suffice to say, we have secured an immensely exciting product assortment for upcoming seasons.

A buying trip is, of course, primarily a business endeavour but it is also an exciting prospect. In order to squeeze in as many extracurricular activities as possible, it pays to have an optimised diary, and being creatures of habit ensures our buyers achieve a precision to their schedule that resembles something of an artform. Let’s just say they don’t miss the chance to guzzle a post-appointment Peroni.

Rita Bar Milan

With business tied up and the next season’s collections locked down, the evening calls for some well-earned luxuriating – and the Navigli district is conducive to achieving precisely that.

Between our three buyers, there is over a decade’s worth of collective effort gone into sampling all manner of Milanese cuisine. Invariably, when frequenting such a modern culinary hotbed, our buyers have honed their palates and have their list of go-to eateries and watering holes dialled in.
Modern though Milano may be, when it comes to honouring traditional recipes, Italians nationwide do so with gusto. And so it is that Vetusta Insigna became the quintessential Nivigli dining experience for our travelling trio; the traditional saffron-infused risotto alla Milanese and classic deep and decadent ossobuco call to them season after season.

Nothing rounds off a fine Italian meal like an exquisitely crafted digestivo. Equally true, is that no Italian cocktail is more deserving of being thrown down than a Negroni. Venue for this night cap: the liquor-lined walls of Rita, a cocktail bar a short trot from the buyers’ hotel. Remember the buyers’ artfully-precise schedule we talked about? It puts Da Vinci’s Virtuvian Man to shame. ‘But a Negroni is an aperitivo not a digestivo’, I hear you say. Semantics! After all, when in Milan.

Aphrodite x Moncler – Looking Forward

Seven decades of Moncler, one of which we have been honoured to be a part of. With the brand’s recent acquisition of Stone Island, not to mention the direction CEO Remo Ruffini has steered them in, Moncler’s exciting evolution is a pleasure to be a part of. A strong member of our family of global brands, Moncler is an Aphrodite staple, one which will feature heavily in our aspirational product assortment for many seasons to come.

So, we hope you enjoyed our behind the scenes preview with Moncler and here’s to many more decades of partnership, cheers!


One of the first down Jackets from moncler

The Greatest Moncler Jackets of All Time

If you’re kicking about in the North East or having a browse online, then you know that Aphrodite is the place to go if you want to grab yourself a bit of Moncler. After all, we’ve stocked the brand for years, and with each and every season hundreds of quality pieces find themselves on our shop floor, before being picked up by you lovely lot of course. Because of this, our staff have become accustomed to the quality of the brand’s offerings, and have had a chance to truly appreciate the intricate design and outstanding functionality of many of the greatest Moncler jackets year after year.

So in honour of Moncler’s 70th anniversary (and as little excuse to show off our all time favourite pieces) we’ve put together an Aphrodite x Moncler Staff Picks.

Moncler – ‘The Original’ Down Jacket

Kenzie Wooton – Online Editor

One of the first down Jackets from moncler

“For me, its important to look at the roots of the brands that we all know and love. What Reme Ruffini has done for Moncler, since he bought the brand, is incredible. He’s propelled a struggling ski-wear brand into a world leading luxury fashion company, all while staying true to the brands roots. Thats it, that’s the reason I love Moncler. So as i’m asked to choose my favourite Moncler Jacket, I simply have to look to the original. The ‘duvet’ style puffer jacket, the first of its kind… An icon.”

Moncler – Zipped Padded Cardigan

Andy Mcardle – Assistant Store Manager


“So I chose this as my favourite Moncler item as I think it’s timeless with many well thought out details. For example, the tonal badge, lightweight down front and comfortable knitted arms and rear making it an ideal transitional item for the colder months. The two-way zip is always a deal breaker for us here in store too. Also it looks pretty much identical to the one that Daniel Craig wore in that iconic chase scene through the Alps in Spectre!”

Moncler for Lionel Terray  – Lambert Jacket

Stewart Buck – Stock Control & Replenishment Executive

Moncler Lionel Terray Jacket

“K2 is an iconic mountain range that can really push a climber to their limits, and attempting the climb without properly made gear can be fatal. When a team of climbers set out to summit K2 in 1954, Moncler and Lionel Terray worked together to push the perceived limits of fabric and technological innovation. 60 years later a team set out to replicate the climb, leading to Moncler creating the stunning Lambert Jacket. This is truly one of the greatest Moncler jackets. It’s simple, it’s stylish, it’s functional and I love it.”

Moncler – Maya Jacket

Chris Blake – Assistant E-Commerce Manager

“The quintessential ski jacket: hooded, perfectly puffed up, and glossy as the slopes of Chamonix. A cornerstone of contemporary fashion that traverses both sportswear and street style, the Maya is the ace up the sleeve that epitomises the image and spirit of Moncler. Despite receiving celebrity endorsements, the Maya silhouette transcends fleeting trends; its essence is rooted in the heritage of a brand that is every bit as relevant today as it was upon its inception 70 years ago.”

Moncler Grenoble – Montgetech Jacket

Jorge Maddison – Senior Store Assistant / Visual coordinator

Moncler Montgetech Jacket

“I picked this as my favourite as I love the weight of the jacket, and its ideal for weather transitions. If you’re dealing with snow or rain you can always rely on the Montgetech. It’s a stunning silhouette with subtle branding which in my eyes only helps to elevate the piece; after all, less is more. “

Some very strong choices here. If you want to grab yourself a new standout Moncler piece, or simply browse the curation we have on offer, then click the link below or head in-store where our staff can give you a hand in perusing some of the greatest Moncler jackets this season.


7 facts about Moncler and CEO Remo Ruffini

As Moncler enter their 70th year, we felt it was about time we shared some lesser known facts about the brand that has done everything from traversing mountain summits, winning Olympic gold medals, and revolutionising the streets of Milan. Now under the inspired leadership of Remo Ruffini, we toast the anniversary of a true industry icon; Moncler, here’s to 70 more.

1. Origin Story – An Icon is Born

In the brand’s founding year, Moncler were not the Moncler we know today. 1952 witnessed the inception of the brand’s very first collection comprising tents, a quilted sleeping bag, and a single hooded cape. The brand’s iconic down jackets, for which modern-day Moncler is globally renowned, were initially developed in 1954 to shield its workers from the biting temperatures of the brand’s namesake town, Monestier-De-Clermont.
Fortuitously, these padded pieces of staff uniform garnered the attention of renowned French mountaineer Lionel Terray, who expressed the possibility of selling the garments. Moncler embraced the idea and the rest, as they say, is history.

Credit: Moncler

2. The Exploration – Reaching New Heights

Moncler’s now signature quilted ‘duvet’ jacket equipped pioneering Italian duo, Achille Compagnoni, and Lino Lacedelli, on their successful bid to conquer the summit of the world’s second highest peak: K2. Residing in the Karakorum mountain range of Pakistan, the uppermost reaches of K2 had not played host to any living person in history. Then, in 1954, two intrepid alpinists entered the death zone of what to this day remains one of the world’s most technically and logistically challenging peaks, 8,611 metres above sea level, decked out in Moncler.
The DNA and mountaineering spirit of that original jacket lives on in every Moncler garment.


Credit: Moncler

3. Olympic Winter Games, Grenoble ’68

The winter of 1968 fell deep within the golden era of competitive skiing. The Olympic Winter Games, held that year in idyllic Grenoble, south-east France, bore witness to the legendary French male downhill team, whose record-breaking gold medal sweep was attained while kitted out head-to-toe in, you guessed it, Moncler. The proud affiliation with such unparalleled high-performance technical apparel spawned the brand’s offshoot range, Moncler Grenoble; a collection that delivers impeccable functional equipment inspired to this day by the heroics of the ’68 French downhill ski team.


Credit: Moncler

4. Monduck

From the very same Olympic Winter Games emerged a rather unlikely partnership between the highly-regarded outerwear masters and a cartoon duck. Yes, that’s right, a cartoon duck. Monduck is the now famous Moncler mascot, most commonly illustrated scaling mountains or parachuting whilst donning the latest down jackets. Check the inside of your latest Moncler outerwear and you’ll receive the garment care instructions from the one and only Monduck. This affable brand mascot is, in the words of chairman and creative director Remo Ruffini, ‘indispensable’.



Credit: Moncler

5. Moncler Genius – High Fashion Collaborations

Fast forward 50 years and in 2018, under the stewardship of progressive chairman Remo Ruffini, the Moncler Genius project is conceived. Combining contemporary ‘drop’ culture with exclusive collaboration, the Genius concept from Moncler launches unique and immersive collections at various checkpoints throughout the year, bypassing dependency on the traditional fashion calendar entirely. Among the star-studded roster of collaborators are Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli and London luminaries Craig Green and JW Anderson.



Credit: Highsnobiety

6. Acquisition – High Profile Partners

In 2020, the global COVID pandemic made for as distorted a year as any brand will likely ever face and yet, in 2020, Moncler acquired 100% of fellow Italian giant Stone Island. The €1.2billion transaction added a significant distinctive asset to Moncler’s portfolio but despite the acquisition, Stone Island fans have been assured there will be none of the unwanted changes typically experienced after such a high-profile takeover. Remo Ruffini has expressed the mutual appreciation he shares with Stone Island’s Carlo Rivetti, insisting ‘the DNA, the collection, the communication, and product, don’t have to change.’
This partnership will certainly be one to keep a close eye on for many seasons to come.


Credit: Moncler

7. The Pledge – Futureproofing

Under Remo Ruffini’s direction, Moncler has modernised to become a truly innovative entity in the contemporary sphere. In 2022, it has become increasingly clear that today’s consumers expect brands to reject the traditional practice of harming animals for the sake of fashion and instead favour sustainable and morally credible alternatives. Consistent with their long-term commitment to responsible business practices, Moncler have vowed to become entirely fur-free by 2024. Add to this that the brand are already 100% carbon neutral at all corporate sites worldwide, 80% of their electricity use comes from renewable sources, and 52% of management positions are occupied by women. There are many facets to Moncler’s evolution but Ruffini is crystal clear about one thing: ‘long-term success comes from creating shared value.’

8. Bonus Fact

When Remo Ruffini took over the helm in 2003, Moncler were on the verge of bankruptcy. By 2013, Moncler went public on the Italian stock exchange, and their value went stratospheric, reaching €4 billion…in a single afternoon.


Hit the link below to check out the latest releases from the legendary Moncler and own a piece of the brand’s lineage all of your own.