MILAN — Moncler is pushing the accelerator on the development of its footwear category, which has become a key strategic priority.
The brand will launch its new footwear collection later this month and in September.
Although the category is expected to reach about 10 percent of revenues in 2025, chairman and chief executive officer Remo Ruffini believes footwear is a way to connect with Moncler’s global communities, not only a business driver.
“Moncler’s footwear business has been growing very nicely in the last year, but still well below its real potential,” Ruffini said during his opening speech at the company’s Capital Markets Day in May. “Now we are ready to take up this challenge. We know that sneakers are a must for our Moncler communities.”
Ruffini at the time highlighted his goal for the company to become “a community magnet,” going “one-for-one, one-for-all digital,” and to embed sustainability across the board. “Consumers are simply people who have a transactional relation with the brand, they just come and go. We believe in the power of building and engaging with communities through long-term relationships,” he said, adding that “we will go beyond tier-one cities in their traditional luxury districts.”
The executive is also aware that footwear will help Moncler to unleash its market potential, as it plays a “critical role” in some markets such as the U.S.
The company has created a dedicated footwear department with a group of designers that have a specific know-how and experience in the segment. These include Nathan VanHook, Moncler’s footwear head of design. He was previously head of footwear design for ACG at Nike. He is also the designer behind the iconic Yeezy “Red October” for Nike and Kanye West.
Last year, Moncler appointed Gino Fisanotti in the newly created position of chief brand officer. He also joined the company after 23 years at Nike, where he rose from retail and marketing roles in South America and Europe to global vice president of sportswear, North America, vice president of marketing, and finally, as its first brand creative officer. His arrival was also perceived as a major step into the development of a footwear business at Moncler.
Inspired by its mountaineer heritage, Moncler’s footwear collection aims to bring the outdoor look and performance into the luxury world with a daily city use.
The lineup will include four segments — city, outdoor, street and hybrid-inspired — exploring new shapes, new proportions, new materials and new manufacturing techniques.
The company is aiming at building an in-house industrial hub to fully unleash the potential of the category. While continuing to rely on a network of longstanding partners, Moncler is also considering vertical production, and acquiring facilities with strong manufacturing knowledge.
The Trailgrip GTX low-top sneaker is 100 percent waterproof, with a breathable Gore-Tex technology. Pioneering flexible carbon-fiber plates offer responsive cushioning and dynamic support to help maximize energy output. The carbon fiber chassis is meant to work as a rock plate for underfoot protection and comfort, speed and endurance.
Moncler has partnered with storied outdoor specialists Cordura, Gore-Tex and Vibram, which guarantees traction through its Megagrip lugged rubber soles. The Ortholite Sockliner is incorporated underfoot for added comfort, combined with a heel clip for stability.
Exclusive to moncler.com, the 1952 Trailgrip low-top sneaker, which will be available from Aug. 25, features a modern crocodile-textured upper in bold green. The same shade appears throughout the 1952 ready-to-wear collection by Sergio Zambon.
Retail prices for the Trailgrip sneakers range from 440 to 695 euros.
The Trailgrip GTX High references Moncler’s mountaineering history, with a range of hiking boot-influenced styles. Materials include premium leather, Nubuck, and Cordura, as well as Gore-Tex waterproof and breathable membrane, and a TecTuff rubber rand for added durability. While sturdy, the shoes are lightweight.
The Trailgrip Après High toughens up the snow boot in waterproof Gore-Tex membrane and the line’s hallmark Vibram Megagrip sole, for sure footing on snowy slopes. Extreme warmth and comfort comes courtesy of the puffer-style upper.
With their futuristic look, the Acqua and Acqua High boots are completely waterproof and come with eco-fur internal “socks” that can be removed and worn as house slippers. Durable rubber soles ensure great traction.
The company teased the footwear collection at its Milan headquarters with a group of key international sneakerheads, and Moncler touted the initial feedback and social media reactions, reporting an organic reach of 14 million in the first week. The styles were put to the test on a rocky, mountain-inspired floor and the new sneaker community met to discuss the designs to musical performances from Julianknxx and Kelsey Lu.
As reported, Moncler Group, which comprises the Stone Island brand, too, barreled through the first half of the year, beating analysts’ expectations with a 46 percent surge in revenues to 918.4 million euros at constant exchange. Sales at the Moncler brand rose 27 percent to 724.3 million euros at constant exchange.