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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.