The French-Italian luxury sportswear brand recruits streetwear legends and couture royalty for its most ambitious, inclusive season yet.
Moncler Genius has transformed the puffer coat from a chilly season staple to an immersive world of art-meets-fashion outerwear—and in the process, transformed the collaboration model entirely. Shunning the concept of one buzzy capsule towards which customers clamor towards an aspirational grail piece, the creative hub’s growing family of cult-favorite guest designers—from streetwear legends to couture royalty—uses Moncler’s identity as a starting point to radiate a myriad of visions, cultures, and identities.
Moncler Genius’s presentation at Milan Fashion Week on February 20 was a choose-your-own-adventure playground in keeping to the project’s motto: “One House, Different Voices.” Under one roof, nine designers interpreted luxury aprés-ski in their own singular language, including: Pierpaolo Piccioli and Liya Kebede, 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, Richard Quinn, Fragment Hiroshi Fujiwara, Palm Angels Francesco Ragazzi, and last but not least, Poldo Dog Couture, proving high-end sportswear can have a sense of humor.
London-based printwear drama king Richard Quinn was one of this season’s first-time guest designer. The Central Saint Martins grad (and former Dior intern) has seemingly in the blink of an eye gone from one-to-watch to fashion week heavyweight, famously luring Queen Elizabeth from her throne to the front row of his Fall 2018 show. Quinn’s Moncler debut included motocross-inspired catsuits in graphic animal prints and florals, and an extravagant daisy-print look complete with handbag, sure to please any monarch in the market for aprés-ski. Matthew Williams of Alyx presented a much-hyped Moncler debut collection that lived up to all expectations. Heavy on Williams’ signature metal and nylon hardware, it included transparent-sleeve windbreakers rendered in kite fabric, vulcanized rubber boots, and even a pair of leggings made from fishing line.
Japan’s godfather of streetwear, Hiroshi Fujiwara, returned to Moncler with a fresh offering of impressively sleek jackets (and even denim) presented in a neon-lit hall of mirrors. Simone Rocha created an eerie forest to showcase a new drop of ruffled parkas and ultra-voluminous metallic coats—cinched with pink rope and paired with embellished hoods—that celebrated Moncler’s sleeping bag manufacturer roots. Craig Green’s latest designs for Moncler resembled spaceships as much as jackets—tapping into Moncler’s fold-and-flatten nature to imagine architectural volumes in frosted rose and metallic aqua. From Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli: structured couture ski gowns with elegant trains that made a satisfying swish as models glided across a marble-tiled floor.
In keeping with Moncler Genius’s customer-focused message of inclusivity, the brand will open Milan’s Moncler Genius Building to the public on February 24. Check it out if you’re in town, and see each designer’s unique vision spring to life in the gallery above.