St. Moritz – Remo Ruffini, chairman and CEO of Moncler Group, knows how to drive home his message.
After relaunching Moncler Grenoble as a high-performance brand, Ruffini has been investing more ambitiously in product offering, distribution and communication, differentiating it from the company's collections and genius labels. The Moncler Grenoble fall 2024 coed fashion show here on Saturday evening perfectly reflected his strategy as he shed light on fashion and the brand's advanced technology, making an impression on even the most jaded industry veterans. Anne Hathaway, Willow Smith, Kate Moss, Shaun White, Renzo Rosso, Carlo Cabasa, Hwang Minhyun, Nina Dobrev, Olivia Palermo and Johannes Huebl.
The event is in sync with his constant goal of cementing the brand's community and delivering exceptional experiences.
„Moncler Grenoble is the result of extensive research, experimentation and development of fabrics and techniques, leading to expertise and authority in a brand that has been a pillar of our team, but now time to shine the spotlight after focusing on the key Moncler collection and genius we've been building over the past few years,” to the show. Rafini said earlier.
Moncler Grenoble has been working for many years with ski instructors at the best international ski schools in cities such as Gstaad, Kitzbuhel, Niseido, Verbier or Zermatt. Brand ambassadors include marquee athletes from Shaun White and Xudong Cai to Perrin Lafont and Richard Bermin. Called “Beyond Performance,” the campaign was photographed in Switzerland by Jamie Hawksworth, who captured high-adrenaline ski runs and intimate, off-duty gatherings among athletes.
Commenting on Grenoble's technology, Ruffini said „it goes below other group brands, improving the lightness and efficiency of materials and comfort.”
Moncler Grenoble owes its name to the city that hosted the Olympic Games in 1968.
„I believe we need to be more precise, to balance fashion and luxury with our roots. I believe in creativity, you can be stylish even on the slopes,” said Ruffini.
Fashion and luxury brands are increasingly turning their attention to skywear as a growing category to offer a rounded lifestyle offering. Examples from Louis Vuitton and Chanel to Balenciaga have all launched skywear collections. The likes of Fendi, Brunello Cucinelli, Bottega Veneta, Paul & Shark, Pollini and Golden Goose have given functions to tony destinations such as Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy; Gstaad, Switzerland; Aspen and Courchevel, France.
„Yes, this segment is getting very crowded, but I don't care,” argued Ruffini, confident in the brand's expertise and its industrial capabilities. “We have set up a dedicated manufacturing plant [in Romania]And we combine style with high quality.
He highlighted that outdoor experiences have become increasingly important since the pandemic, particularly in the US and Asia, resulting in a boom in the outerwear segment. Ruffini noted that the brand is extending its offering for summer with lighter weight products.
Moncler Group's 2023 sales, which include Stone Island and are publicly listed in Milan, will be published on February 28. According to the latest statistics, the group has overcome challenging macroeconomic, social and political challenges.
In the nine months ended September 30, the group's revenue was 1.8 billion euros, up 16 percent from 1.55 billion euros in the same period last year. Sales of the Moncler brand rose 19 percent to 1.49 billion euros in the nine months.
Ruffini recalls saying at the group's initial public offering in 2013 that he aimed to „sustain fashion.” Now, he underlines that it's „not normal” because being sustainable and true to the brand's roots is his mantra.
„Grenoble has allowed us over the years to gain a foothold in the world of sports, in the mountains, skiing, active sports, hiking and biking. Our product, around Grenoble, includes high performance, après ski, and performance and style, where we express our maximum creativity on the slopes, and I think it is still not clear to the end consumer. We have always been committed to Grenoble, but we have not really communicated this commitment.
A major step in this direction was last December's opening of a Moncler Grenoble boutique in St. Moritz, the birthplace of bobsled and known for years as a luxury winter destination for the jet-set. Reportedly, it is undergoing a revival with a renewed buzz.
Designed by architecture firm Küchel Architects, the seven-window 3,230-square-foot space on the city's central Via Maistra pays tribute to the landscape of the surrounding Swiss Alps, juxtaposing metal and the futuristic with natural materials including wood, stone and marble. Design elements. A few steps away on the same street is Moncler Flagship.
To further highlight the brand, the company is investing in Moncler Grenoble pop-up stores.
As of September 30, Moncler's network of directly operated boutiques had 262 units.
The first Grenoble collection was presented in New York in January 2010 during the city's fashion week. The last runway event hosted by the brand was in February 2017, a winter ball staged at Manhattan's Hammerstein Ballroom during New York Fashion Week.
However, Ruffini said the event in Saint Moritz was „the first real show for the brand” and that he envisions more „travel experiences” for Grenoble.
The Fall 2024 collection paraded Clavatatch Lodge and its forest with a view of the tony Swiss resort town. The idea of showing at the ski resort felt personal, as he explained before the show that St. Moritz was a second home to him and Moncler, where the company opened its first store two decades ago.
Guests arrived at sunset and walked a few steps into the forest, where a serpentine catwalk was carved into the snow.
The step and repeat is certainly unique – a group of life-size ice statues wearing puffers next to a large Moncler logo, also on ice.
„It was magical,” Hathaway said of the experience. „I didn't get to spend time in the mountains, skiing, things like that, so I was very emotional,” said the actress, who traveled to St. Moritz for the first time. A day before skiing on the slopes, she admits she did it cautiously and with an instructor. „I'm still not good, but I'm having a lot of fun,” she said.
Moss was also very excited and curious about what to expect at the show. “All is kept a secret; I have no idea, but the forest is amazing, it's so magical,” she admitted with Hathaway.
„Fashion meeting function, having products that look great but still perform, and riding with everyone on a board in the mountains today, is amazing, amazing,” said brand ambassador White. Moncler Grenoble has teamed up with Whitespace, a brand founded by a three-time Olympic gold medalist and inspired by surfboards, to create its first snowboard design.
Nothing stands to chance – each guest donned a white Moncler cape and wireless headphones to a soundtrack that ranged from opera airs to waltz pieces like „Casta Diva” as they danced through streams of light in a fairytale landscape. Piercing the darkness above the trees and sloping ground. Concerns about the cold were alleviated as the seats on the wooden benches were heated and white woolen blankets contributed to the cozy arrangements – thermoses filled with mulled wine or hot tea added comfort.
There was production, of course, but it didn't take away from the extensive coat collection worn by 135 models, from Mariacarla Boscono and Vittoria Ceretti to Irina Shayk and Joan Smalls.
Through the use of wool flannel and corduroy, the brand's skiwear line is completed with garments that are both technical and ski-friendly.
Shirts became ski jackets, and flannel pants were laminated for the slopes. Stitched embroideries and maxi crochets landed on technical pieces and patterns inspired by Fair Isle mixed fabrics and colors that grew in complexity, reaching 1,600 parts in a single jacket. Texture is also added thanks to embroideries and a 3D effect.
The color palette for fall 2024 ranges from pale snow and ice, to reds, whites and blues and combinations of warm mustards and woody greens.
Both technical and sheepskin jackets featured intricate geometric inlays reminiscent of traditional quilts. Aran created the effect of knitted stitches on quilting ski jackets. The dresses and duvets are completely designed in knits. Mixed media caps reflect the brand's expertise with materials.
The oversized, cocooning coats are made from fine fibers of virgin wool and alpaca that look like fur, but the company hasn't gone fur-free since the 2023 season.
The brand showcased cushions with multicolored poutines created with the help of artificial intelligence and quilts inspired by 70s knits. Feminine looks were seen in crop-down jackets that hugged the torso and were worn over puffer miniskirts.
Some looks were perfect for the slopes, like roomy wool trousers with twisted rib seams perfect for snuggling up in front of the fireplace with a hot chocolate. There were plenty of accessories from beanies to backpacks and bags, not to mention plenty of boots and glasses.
It created a beautiful and comprehensive collection, which mixed style, sophistication and technology, mixed functionality and comfort.
St Moritz holds a special place in the heart of Ruffini, who owns a house in the town and is keen on skiing. Last year, Moncler partnered with Italian premium seafood restaurant founder Enrico Buonocore to open its first high-end location in St. Moritz, through Ruffini's family investment vehicle portfolio, which owns a stake in Langosteria.
The idea of showing at the ski resort felt personal, as Ruffini explained before the show that St. Moritz was a second home for him and Moncler, where the company opened its first store two decades ago.
„Totalny pionier w sieci. Specjalista od piwa niezależny. Ewangelista popkultury. Miłośnik muzyki. Nieprzepraszający przedsiębiorca”.