MILAN — Moncler is celebrating its 60th anniversary with a special double event in Miami, in conjunction with the Art Basel Miami show.
The company will tonight stage an evocative “high altitude” experience with special effects for guests including Uma Thurman, Pharrell Williams, Giambattista Valli, Bruce Weber and Bianca Brandolini d’Adda. The dinner celebration will be held at the panoramic 1111 Lincoln Road parking garage-cum-event-space designed by Herzog & de Meuron.
The following day, Moncler will officially inaugurate its first boutique in Miami, located at the Bal Harbour Shops mall, which was unveiled in July. Williams will meet guests to present and autograph copies of his book “Places and Spaces I’ve Been.”
Chairman and creative director Remo Ruffini said he is “pleased to celebrate the brand’s outstanding heritage and present achievements in Miami. Art Basel is the perfect scenario for Moncler’s creative and international DNA.”
Moncler has been strengthening its presence in the U.S., including the opening this summer of a boutique on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, embellished with French woodwork engraved with floral patterns in relief, contrasting with marble floors and metal details and fixtures.
The Miami and Los Angeles units have once again been designed by architects Patrick Gilles and Dorothée Boissier of Gilles & Boissier. The Miami store carries the Moncler men’s, women’s and accessories ranges, Moncler S and Moncler Grenoble.
In the U.S., the company has stores in New York, Chicago and Aspen, Colo. It counts a total of 84 boutiques globally and will reach 88 by the end of the year.
Moncler also marked its 60th anniversary this year with a series of comics created by Christian Marra and featuring MonDuck, the brand’s iconic duck character that appears on the label’s tags. The six-episode anniversary comic was on the brand’s Web site starting in September, with each episode dedicated to a decade and the last 10 years concluding the project on Nov. 12.
Moncler was founded in 1952 in Grenoble, France. Ruffini took over and revamped the brand in 2003, evolving it from a collection of utilitarian, down-filled apparel with mostly local distribution into a fashionable international label. He went on to add a luxury component with the launches of the Gamme Rouge and Gamme Bleu collections, designed by Giambattista Valli and Thom Browne, respectively.
To further sustain expansion, Ruffini sold a 48 percent stake in the company to The Carlyle Group in 2008. In June 2011, Moncler sold a 48 percent stake to Paris-based investment firm Eurazeo, pulling the plug on plans to list it on the Milan Stock Exchange that summer, although Ruffini said last month “a listing remains [the company’s] goal.” Ruffini retained a 32 percent holding, while Carlyle owns 17.8 percent of Moncler.
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“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.
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