Moncler Genius, the fashion world's equivalent of The Avengers, continues its expansion of artistic boundaries with the announcement of several new designers joining the collaborative project: Richard Quinn and Alyx Matthew Williams will be bringing their unique vision and aesthetic to the Moncler brand while Veronica Leoni and Sergio Zambon share the helm of Moncler 1952
It's a big play to tackle the fashion world in a way that capitalises on both individuality and brand recognition without losing the independence of either. According to Remo Ruffini, Moncler's owner, it's the natural evolution of a brand that at its heart is an exercise in creative exploration.
"Creativity is the driving factor of the whole Moncler Genius project," says Ruffini.
"I do believe that creativity has no boundaries and this project has proven that different creative minds can actually work together under the same brand: Moncler as one house different voices. To this regard, all the Moncler Genius creative minds have been chosen on the instinct to reinterpreted the Moncler DNA combining their unique aesthetic with the Moncler DNA itself."
Moncler first announced their plan to grab the traditional three-shows-a-year model of runways by the shoulders and shake it back in 2018. (In fact, back at the first announcement of Moncler Genius Ruffini was even quoted as saying "this is the end of the fashion show".) Instead, it became a chance to release a new collection from a different "Genius" each month. A monumental task of industrious output but one that was perfectly suited to rapid digital cultures where something was only as new as the time it spent on your screen.
During this first year, it made for brilliant viewing, like watching the chapters of a book unfold: take the iconic figure of Moncler's down jacket and have it reinterpreted according to the vision of the various artists invited.
It was this venture that brought about some of the year's most unforgettable, Instagrammable, garments and red carpet moments, a la Ezra Miller at the opening night of The Crimes of Grindelwald. Miller caused serious sartorial whiplash wearing a creation of Valentino's womenswear designer, Pierpaolo Piccioli: a head-to-toe puffer-slash-duvet that set social media alight.
"Since the very beginning Moncler strategy has be addressed to a constant research and the desire to experiment with contemporary forms of expression," Ruffini told 51698009.
"Managing to observe what surrounds us, and trying to imagine it in a different way each time, or applied to new forms of expression, is a fundamental exercise for those in my line of work. That's how all artistic partnerships the brand has worked on, always giving a unique interpretation of the Moncler world."
This year, Moncler Genius also introduces the charmingly dissonant Poldo Dog Couture – yes, couture for your dog. The brand had originally toyed with the concept last year, but the response had been so positive that Ruffini made the decision to make it formally part of the Genius line.
The Geniuses' visions will be unveiled in Milan on February 20th with an event presenting the Moncler Genius collections from: Pierpaolo Piccioli & Liya Kebede, Sergio Zambon and Veronica Leoni for Moncler 1952, Sandro Mandrino for Moncler Grenoble, Simone Rocha, Craig Green, Alyx Matthew Williams, Richard Quinn, Fragment Hiroshi Fujiwara, Palm Angels Francesco Ragazzi and Poldo Dog Couture.
And can the Genius concept continue to grow, adding more names to the list, without fear of diluting its message?
"Multiplicity represents a strength," muses Ruffini.
"When we started to conceive Moncler Genius, the very first thought was about being able to maintain the integrity of the Moncler uniqueness, evolving the brand naturally and continuing to offer different interpretations of the Moncler world in order to talk to our different audiences, as we have ever done since the beginning."