Once winter comes, Moncler and Canada Goose are undoubtedly the most photographed down jacket brands, and even long queues form in front of their respective shops in Shanghai ……
“Canada Goose is too heavy”, “I don’t know what makes Moncler look good” …… The heat must be accompanied by all kinds of mixed voices, the most important thing that people are concerned about is which brand they should get after they have some money.
The most staggering news for the fashion industry last week must have been the surprise announcement on December 14 that Moncler and Stone Island, a military trendy brand, had officially incorporated Stone Island into the Moncler Group. Moncler Group, the two Italian brands will join forces in the future, and the total transaction amounted to 1.15 billion euros.
Many people are wondering, aren’t these two brands, which are defined as “trendy” in China, competitors? Why are they suddenly shaking hands and making up.
For Moncler CEO Remo Ruffini, the two brands have never been direct competitors, despite their similar style propositions and the fact that they are based just a few minutes away from each other.
For most fans, it was “I can’t afford the Stone Island with the cuffs off, and I’m even more turned off by the Stone Island in conjunction with King Feather”,replica watches uk while some left a whole lot of ellipses, “Rich Island …… is going out of the loop ……”
This wave, it seems, is a win for Moncler.
Moncler, who doesn’t want to be the “king of feathers”
The Moncler brand is a fan of Stone Island
Moncler has always resented being labelled as a luxury down brand.
It prefers to be a culture, and so it has deliberately sought to break free from the confines of down by expanding the category. For Remo Ruffini, Stone Island and Moncler’s penchant for purity and innovation share the same roots.
Moncler’s current CEO Remo Ruffini
Let’s go back to the origins of Moncler. The name Moncler originated in Monestier-de-Clermont, a village near Grenoble.
In 1952, Rene Ramillon and Andre Vincent founded the company in this small village and began producing quilted sleeping bags, lined hooded cloaks and tents.
The Moncler factory in Monestier-de-Clermont
As the new social phenomenon of hiking holidays began to take off, the products made by Moncler soon became popular with the public.
To help protect workers in the villages from the cold, Monlcer began producing down jackets that workers could wear over their work trousers.
In 1954, the French mountaineer Lionel Terray took note of this phenomenon and foresaw the potential of these warm garments. This led to the launch of the Moncler pour Lionel Terray range of down jackets, harnesses, gloves and sleeping bags.
In the same year, Moncler’s down jackets were chosen for the Italian climbing team’s expedition to Mount Chogori (K2, 8,611m), which culminated in Achille Compagnoni and others reaching the summit and becoming the first team in the world to conquer K2.
The Italian climbing team at K2, 1954
Moncler’s reputation grew steadily year on year and in 1955 Moncler was offered a contract to collaborate with a French expedition to supply them with down jackets to help them conquer Mount Makalu, the fifth highest mountain in the world (8,463 metres above sea level). By this time, Moncler down jackets had gained authoritative recognition in the field of professional mountaineering.
Immediately afterwards, in 1968, Moncler became the uniform of the French team at the Grenoble Winter Olympics speed skiing competition, a collaboration that made Moncler famous and even became the direct inspiration for the high-end fashion menswear brand Grenoble 40 years later.
Himalayan Mountaineering Team, 1962
French National Ski Team, 1966
French national team at the Winter Olympics, 1968
Moncler’s entry into the fashion market was not until the 1980s, when it recruited Parisian designer Chantal Thomass to reinvent the look of the brand’s down jackets.
Thomass, for his part, replaced the functional zip fastening with buttons and introduced fur trims, satin and reversible fabrics. moncler’s down jacket collection also began to move out of the snowy mountains.
In 2003, Moncler was acquired by Italian entrepreneur Remo Ruffini. The comfort of the down jackets and the creative design of keeping up with the times, experimenting with different materials and refining every detail of the products became Ruffini’s main concerns over the years.
In 2006, the first Moncler boutique opened at 5 rue Saint-Honoré in Paris.
However, it can only be said that Ruffini is ambitious and wants to turn Moncler into a cultural carrier,replica iwc watches so when we take a closer look at what Moncler has been doing in recent years, we can see a glimpse of this in the Moncler Genius project.
Since February 2018 until now, Moncler has joined forces with famous designers and brands such as Valentino’s creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli, Hiroshi Fujiwara, founder of the trendy brand Fragment Design, and Jonathan Anderson, creative director of Loewe’s personal brand JW Anderson, to release joint collections.
Then Moncler, which started in the mountains and came to the city, is indeed fundamentally different from Stone Island, which comes from a military background.
Surprisingly, Ruffini himself has been a big fan of Stone Island since the 1980s. This time, he has taken a full stake in his “iconic brand”, which is undoubtedly a “star-crossed success story”.
The hipster anomaly Stone Island
Not really related to street culture
In the early 80s, after much research and experimentation, Massimo Osti, the founder of C.P. Company, developed a new fabric, Tela Stella, inspired by military truck tarpaulins.
The original tarp fabric was very hard-wearing and windproof, but had the disadvantage of being too stiff; Osti softened it through an intense stonewashing process, turning it into a fabric suitable for the body, which was then used in the production of the new product.
Unbeknownst to most consumers, they thought they were buying these stone-washed, worn-out clothes as items that had been washed and re-sold several times, which triggered a wave of angry returns. This was a major setback for C.P., which was still climbing the ladder at the time. It was a sales mishap for C.P., which was still on the crawl.
Osti realised that there were different audiences for the brand and that it was important for him, as a mastermind, to learn to differentiate between them.
So he relaunched a new line of clothing, Stone Island, which quickly became a new concept in the textile industry at the time.
The famous French actor Alain Delon wearing Tela Stella, 1984
Today, when Stone Island is mentioned, many people would classify it as a “trendy brand”. There are also many who buy Stone Island for the compass cuff.
With big logos flying around, there is a growing cult of the logo, as if cutting-edge performance fabrics are no match for a logo on a sleeve.
Of course, anyone who knows Stone Island’s European market knows that the compass cuff has evolved into a certain communal cultural nature.
When two people wearing Stone Island meet, they will identify with each other because of the cuffs. For the Stone Island team, it would be great if the cuffs could form this kind of community culture in China.
In fact, the path of Stone Island’s popularity in China is not very different from that of Canada Goose and North Face. After co-branding with street trend brands such as Supreme and NikeLab, the domestic market has been expanded in fire and a certain amount of conversation has been created with the street trend community.
But the roots of Stone Island are not directly related to street culture, which is the bottom line of Stone Island.
“Our aesthetic language, product style and way of doing things have not changed, and although young people love street culture, we don’t make a living out of it. Thankfully the group that loves street culture now will also love Stone Island.”
Not following fashion or street trends, not co-branding for the sake of co-branding, not walking the runway and not doing showcases, Stone Island is indeed an anomaly among ‘hipster’ brands.
In recent years, there has been a surge of functionalism in the fashion world, and products with functional labels have been popping up all over the market. The quality and production of fabrics is a priority, and Stone Island’s commitment to developing innovative fabrics with industrial technology is the most important attraction for Moncler.
How many people will regret buying a goose?
Stone Island’s interactions with Moncler have been mentioned in the previous article. In the 1980s, when Stone Island was first born, it became a brand that was highly sought after and admired by the wealthy young people of Milan, thanks to the great influence of Massimo Osti himself.
This group of young Milanese, also known by their own name, Paninaro, were influenced by the American subculture of consumerism and the desire to find an outlet for the political turmoil of the time in Italy through fashion and gentrification.
The Paninaro’s signature look was brightly coloured Moncler, Levis 501 jeans with the leg rolled up to the ankle, Timberland’s big yellow boots and Stone Island underwear. This look quickly became a hit in Milan and has since swept through Italy and most of Europe.
And today Stone Island is far more specific in its influence on the younger demographic than Moncler, which is something that Moncler lacks at the moment.
Moncler’s acquisition of Stone Island, which is highly rated in the trend world, is undoubtedly an attempt to expand its product range and find an entry point and a high starting point in the young trend market.
Stone Island, like Supreme, has a cultural influence on the niche that is not dissimilar to that of Supreme.
But unlike Supreme, the Stone Island brand itself is very accommodating and not limited to one particular form of style, which ensures that the brand will not face too much of a loss of fans after the acquisition.
The fact that both have also been acquired one after the other is actually a law of the market.
For Stone Island, the brand is still largely dependent on the European business, with sales in Europe accounting for 80% of the brand’s total sales, with Italy, the UK, Germany and the Netherlands as the main consumer markets, as opposed to the Asian market, where they desperately need to find a breakthrough.
Moncler’s Asian market already accounts for 40% of its sales, and this acquisition will undoubtedly help Stone Island to further enter Asia, following the opening of a shop in Beijing Sanlitun, Nanjing Deji Plaza shopping centre is also in Stone Island’s plan for offline shops in China.
As for the original intention of this acquisition, both Moncler and Stone Istand have expressed their desire to create an open, mass-participation, interactive environment based on community, experience and cultural exchange, where fans can find their own sense of belonging in the world.
This will also determine the future direction of the brand towards young people.
Moncler Genius will continue to tend to attract designers such as Craig Green and Virgil Abloh, while Stone Island will focus on collaborations with brands such as Supreme, Dimme and Nike.