A brand that was born for sports has now become a total look, thanks to the down jacket. With a profitability and a capitalization that no one could ever foresee

Remo Ruffini

Remo Ruffini

Consider the name, Monestier de Clermont: while this mountain village near Grenoble may seem obscure, its abbreviation -Moncler- is inextricably linked to the down jacket par excellence in every far-flung corner of the world. It was here in this lovely little part of the French Alps that Renè Ramillon and Andrè Vincent would create the first Moncler-branded down jacket in 1954.

It proved to be so popular, thanks to its outstanding technical characteristics, that the company was chosen to supply the gear for the legendary Italian expedition to K2, headed up by Ardito Desio, closely followed by the French expedition to Makalù in 1956. After many successful years and a boom during the Paninaro youth-scene era in Milan, the brand’s star quality began to fade during the early ‘90s. However, Moncler returned to its full glory in 2003, thanks to an entrepreneurial challenge eagerly accepted by Remo Ruffini: «I had a clear idea: I wanted a brand that had such deep roots that it could go global. My dream was to make down jackets available to everyone, for the ladies that went to the Scala Theatre, for the young kids on skateboards, and for finance managers. Initially, it wasn’t easy to integrate my vision. I spent a lot of time explaining the project I had in mind, maintaining that the results would come if we did our job well».

Time and success proved him right. With the global down jacket -which moved from the mountains to take on a metropolitan look, yet without ever rejecting its origins- Ruffini left his mark on the Monestier de Clermont brand, positioning it exclusively within the luxury sector, applying his creative streak in designing original, distinctive interpretations on the down-jacket theme and paving the way for many important collaborations, including Balenciaga, Junya Watanabe, Chitose Abe for Sacai, and even Mary Katrantzou and Alexandre Mattiussi for Ami. 

With Moncler Gamme Rouge, created in 2006 and currently designed by Giambattista Valli, the haute couture nature of the down jacket took shape. Moreover, Thom Browne has been exploring the opportunities for inspiration drawn from the rules of men’s tailoring with Moncler Gamme Bleu since 2009, interweaving them with the sport roots of the brand. Moncler Grenoble, created in 2010, looked to the brand’s history, relying on strong roots in sports while boosting its technical, high-performance look to combine heritage with new styles. This resulted in a contemporary aesthetic that looks to the future. Even the Moncler fashion shows have become much-anticipated events, centred around a semantic, visionary quality that is always formidable and tells a story. 

Moncler has recaptured all of its original lustre. Actually, today it shines more brightly than ever. In doing so, the brand has reasserted itself as the leader in down jackets. More than 60 years of manufacturing experience have allowed the company to establish specific coefficients for filling the garments, with an exact mathematical relationship between the surface in square centimetres and the amount of down a garment contains. Indeed, down is the key word for the brand in all its manifestations, as it uses only the highest-quality goose down for its padded coats, guaranteeing superior insulation and a unique light weight. The number of its single-brand boutiques, operating in more than 80 countries worldwide, will soon increase from 166 to 169: «In 2016, we’ll open flagship stores in New York, on Madison Avenue, in London on Bond Street and in Seoul», says Ruffini. 

Success can also be seen in the numbers on its balance sheet, with Moncler having closed the first nine months of 2015 with revenues of 561.5 million euros (+17% at constant exchange rates with the same period in 2014) and its profitability indicators increasing by even more. Editda, Ebit and net profit increased by 31.1%, 26.3% and 31% to 174.5 million, 147.6 million and 92.7 million, respectively.