Forget fashion shows, seasonal deliveries and six-month waits. “As everything is changing, we want to change, too,” said Moncler’s president Remo Ruffini on the eve of Milan Fashion Week last week. The brand will no longer offer regular collections to be delivered twice a year, but will launch a series of capsules, each one designed by a different designer (though also upon a constant collab basis) to be delivered indicatively more often–from every two-to-six-weeks–and each one handled like a single “package” in terms of product, catered distribution and communication strategies.
We want to offer most varied and always evolving product selections.
“As the consumer is changing we have to evolve, too,” continued Ruffini referring to how the digital world has changed consumers’ vision and approach to shopping, collecting information and cultivating interests. “We want to offer most varied and always evolving product selections. If in the past presenting collections twice a year–in September and February–was fine, now it is not. As so much is happening, we want speak with our customers more often–every month, every week, every day, if necessary.”
Despite appearances, this direction is not following the “see now/buy now” trend as Ruffini doesn’t consider that a successful strategy. Moncler Genius could be rather compared with fast fashion–apart from prices, overall quality and signature’s creativity. It is rather based upon fragmentation, a cult for newness and alternative expressions of creativity.
We want speak with our customers more often–every month, every week, every day, if necessary.
Ruffini’s brand does not fear dilution. “We are a jacket, but always a different jacket,” he says. “For this reason we will follow different strategies aimed at different generations, even if our aspiration would be to sell the same jacket to a skater and to his grandmother, too, as we aim to reach a wide consumer base.”
Although Moncler’s origins are purely rooted to sportswear, Ruffini’s ability, since he relaunched it, has been to transform it into an aspirational luxury and fashion-minded brand. He launched the now shuttered Gamme Bleu and Gamme Rouge ranges designed by prestigious designers, including Thom Browne and Gianbattista Valli. Parallel to that the brand also offered a main collection plus special capsules, some of which were aimed at streetwear and upper sportswear fans (Off White and Kith among others). Those are also finished. “We are taking a different direction also in that. Our last collab with Kith was released in December 2017,” he explains.
Moncler continues to grow. In 2017 it registered € 1,193.7 million in sales, 17% more than in 2016 with net income €250 million, up 27% compared to the year before. Ruffini is confident that its new approach will keep the company on a positive trajectory.
Will this new strategy become the rule also among other upmarket brands? Signs are already pointing that it might. Only very recently Diesel announced the creation of its Red Tag platform focused on a series of capsules and Tod’s wants to follow a similar path too. Time will tell if this revolution will open the way for a new industry-wide business model.