MILAN — Moncler chairman and chief executive officer Remo Ruffini keeps the industry guessing.
In a surprise move, Moncler Genius is moving to China in 2021.
A few days before revealing the acquisition of the Stone Island brand in December in a deal valued at 1.15 billion euros, Moncler said it would present the Moncler Genius 2021 project with a new format and a new timing, as “a reflection of the moment,” when “change is faster” and “the times have accelerated.”
While Moncler Genius since its launch in 2018 has been presented in Milan in February, the 2021 edition will be held in September, in a nod to the beginning of the brand’s core winter season, and will consist of events broadcast from China across time zones to the world. At the same time, Moncler will retain a slot on the Milan Fashion Week calendar, to maintain a connection with its headquarters.
Moving to China is described as “an energy boost. The country is again extremely vital, and keeps flourishing with new ideas and a vibrant appetite for fashion. As such, it is a perfect launchpad for a global act meant to reach everybody and regain a sense of connection and community.”
While details are still scarce, Moncler has hinted at further strengthening its connection to the audience and the brand’s customer through “the expansive reach of digital communication,” as it moves east and it endorses “a broadcasting strategy.”
Inclusivity is placed at the forefront of the strategy, as Moncler underscored that “the physical experience includes online participation and active interaction, and includes everybody.”
Ruffini began to evolve Moncler Genius with an increased focus on the brand’s customers last year. In February 2020, the executive started exploring new territories, launching a new product with luxury luggage brand Rimowa and collaborating with the JW Anderson label, founded by Jonathan Anderson.
The reasoning behind the new product, invented with Rimowa, was that the Genius project was developing and Ruffini said at the time that his “initial idea was to find creative talents that would bring a lot of energy to the brand and give voice to the roots of the brand — after all, our motto is ‘One House, Different Voices.’ Now we are giving voice to our customers.”
Looking at the Moncler Genius 2021 launch, sustainability will be key, in sync with Moncler’s Born to Protect sustainability plan, presented last October, and which focuses on five strategic drivers: climate action; circular economy; fair sourcing; enhancing diversity, and giving back to local communities. The Moncler Genius collections at the show will comprise sustainable looks developed according to the individual visions of each designer “each one targeting different demographics of clients, different inclinations and personalities.”
The lineup of designers for 2021 is still under wraps.
In addition to JW Anderson, the”different voices” of Moncler Genius 2020 included Sergio Zambon and Veronica Leoni for 2 Moncler 1952; Sandro Mandrino for 3 Moncler Grenoble; Simone Rocha; Craig Green; Matthew Williams of 1017 Alyx 9SM; Fragment Hiroshi Fujiwara; Richard Quinn, and Poldo Dog Couture. There was also an agreement with Mate.bike, exploring yet another sector beyond fashion and offering Moncler’s customers a different experience.
When commenting on the acquisition of Stone Island, Ruffini said he sees luxury going in a new direction, less traditional and more open to younger generations — in an area between Hermès and Nike: “It’s a new luxury, we must be part of it, with new energy — just as the one we felt when we started Genius.”