Guests were asked to arrive early at the industrial location in Milan that served as the stage for the Moncler Mondogenius presentation, as the digital experience was broadcast across five cities— New York, Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul in addition to the Italian city — and indeed, it started promptly with a delay of only five minutes — a rarity during any fashion week. However, it was not all virtual, as Grammy Award winner Alicia Keys and actress and singer Victoria Song hosted the event live from Milan and Shanghai, respectively, and in a conversation –– albeit one that was mainly scripted.
Moncler unveiled the next roster of designers and brands working on the Genius project, who range from the returning JW Anderson; Veronica Leoni and Sergio Zambon for Moncler 1952 Woman and Man, respectively; Sandro Mandrino for Moncler Grenoble; Craig Green; Moncler 1017 by Alyx 9SM, and Moncler Frgmt by Hiroshi Fujiwara, to new entries Hyke; Palm Angels; Dingyun Zhang, and Gentle Monster.
Huge screens all around the event space and behind the stage where Keys stood — and briefly sang — made for an immersive experience.
The event opened with a bang, as 12 skydivers were seen defying gravity above three wind tunnels in nighttime Shanghai wearing Moncler Grenoble puffers, which emphasized the high-performance quality of the technical garb.
Moncler chairman and chief executive officer Remo Ruffini has long voiced his intention to further develop the brand into other categories, especially knitwear, and JW Anderson presented its collection through a short film by director Luca Guadagnino at Milan’s Cineclub Il Cinemino, starring award-winning actress Sophie Okonedo, that spotlighted several quirky sweaters, such as a canary yellow design peppered with light blue circles.
Craig Green presented his collection at Milan’s Central Station with extreme, sculptural and architectural structures resembling machines made to fly, while Palm Angels paid homage to Americana style and vintage culture, as designer Francesco Ragazzi paired with award-winning filmmaker and visual artist Akinola Davies Jr.
Hyke was introduced by Japanese actress Anne and actor Sota Fukushi, and the show was set within the cyclical space of the atrium of the Telecom Center Building in Tokyo. The set, a huge snow dome, nodded to the brand’s mountain heritage and giant sleeping bags, down jackets, eyewear and accessories were shown all in black.
For Moncler 1017 Alyx 9SM, creative director Matthew Williams worked with artist and musician Teezo Touchdown, who debuted his new track “I’m Just a Fan” in a surreal video filmed in New York, hinging on Williams’ signature six-inch nail embellishment.
Mondogenius succeeded in showing the product — which remains key for any brand — interpreted through the eyes of the designers and the artists. Ruffini is not one to stand still, so who knows if he will decide to replicate the formula, but for a first experiment, it was intriguing and entertaining.