MILAN — Moncler will mark its 60th anniversary this year with a series of comics featuring MonDuck, the brand’s iconic duck character that appears on the label’s tags. The six-episode anniversary comics will be presented on the brand’s Web site starting Tuesday. Each episode will be dedicated to a decade, with the last 10 years concluding the project on Nov. 12.
“I, myself, don’t like my birthdays, but this is an important milestone for the brand,” Moncler’s president and creative director, Remo Ruffini, told WWD. “To mark it, we want to be close to our roots. We’ve always been connected to our history, and this is one of the reasons for our success. We are a modern and contemporary brand, but loyal to our history of explorations and technology.”
The comic strips, created by Christian Marra, take the reader through each decade. They begin in the Fifties, when the brand was born — produced in Grenoble, France — destined for climbs in Alaska, the Himalayas, Karakorum and Makalu. The comics move into the Sixties, when the duvet feather was patented, through the Naughts, which include Ruffini and The Carlyle Group’s acquisition of Moncler in 2003, as well as the new luxury direction of the company with the launches of the Gamme Rouge and Gamme Bleu collections. When Ruffini took over the brand, it evolved from a collection of utilitarian, down-filled apparel with mostly local distribution into a fashionable international label, and, to further sustain expansion, in 2008, a 48 percent stake in the company was sold to Carlyle.
“MonDuck has been associated with us since the Seventies,” said Ruffini. “It’s there with the washing instructions, it gives us energy and it’s an unusual reference point — it’s inside your garments, so you see it yourself, it’s personal.”
As for the future, Ruffini said he’s never abandoned the idea of an initial public offering. “We are always attentive to evaluate opportunities,” he said, while acknowledging the markets’ current instability.
Moncler sold a 48 percent stake to Paris-based investment firm Eurazeo in June 2011, pulling the plug on plans to list it on the Milan Stock Exchange that summer. Ruffini retained a 32 percent holding, while The Carlyle Group owns 17.8 percent of Moncler.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast