Just warming up
Innovation makes it possible to come up with the best duvet jackets, says Moncler president Remo Ruffini
Q. Can you tell us about Moncler's core DNA?
A. The ever-changing combinations of technology and nature, mountain and city, functionality and aesthetics make Moncler's quilted jackets [excellent]. [Our products] express authentic and individual elegance that goes beyond fashion.
Q. Moncler is famous for down jackets, but what is the strategy to tap into other product categories, after small leather goods launched late last year?
A. The duvet jacket remains as the core of our business. We also focus on developing knitwear. It is a significant project for us, as it's very close to the brand's DNA. It could potentially be an important product category.
Climber Lionel Terray was a close friend of Moncler's founder, René Ramillon. While he was trekking in the 1950s, he was wearing a duvet jacket, sunglasses and mountain boots. Our brand will develop complementary products, but we will stick close to our DNA.
Q. Moncler has collaborated with designers such as Thom Browne and Giambattista Valli for high-fashion lines Moncler Gamme Rouge and Moncler Gamme Bleu. How do they complement and reflect your core DNA?
A. At the core of Moncler is the "global down jacket strategy". When I took over the brand in 2003, I had a clear idea in mind: a jacket to be worn by everybody in every occasion. This simple idea not only had the strength to restore Moncler to its former glory, but also [gives it flexibility].
I believe one of the key reasons for Moncler's success is the brand's openness to diverse interpretations. This flexibility helps the brand constantly find new ways of expressing itself - for example, through the Moncler, Moncler Gamme Bleu, Moncler Gamme Rouge and Moncler Grenoble collections. There is a perfect duvet jacket to wear for every occasion.
Valli masterfully mixes the sporty origins of the brand with haute couture in the Moncler Gamme Rouge collection, while Browne creatively matches sport and sartorial technical excellence in Moncler Gamme Bleu.
Q. Following Moncler's impressive initial public offering (IPO), what is your priority in developing the brand?
A. Moncler's debut in the Milan stock market in December 2013 made it the most successful European IPO that year. We are extremely proud of this achievement. As an entrepreneur, I want to keep my feet on the ground and carry on working as we always have, focusing on innovation and sustainable growth.
My challenge has been to match technical excellence with aesthetic research to create the perfect duvet jacket. [We've opened] our first boutique in Moscow. Innovation is [one of our key elements]. I'm not only referring to the advertising campaigns with Bruce Weber, but also our performance during New York, Milan and Paris fashion weeks. Moncler's experimental, international and creative attitude will continue to be the key assets for the brand's development.
Q. Can you share with us a watershed moment during your time with Moncler?
A. There have been a few moments at the very beginning where I had to trust only my intuition and start from scratch - products, distribution and communication. It's difficult to convince others to trust you. The experience has been challenging.
Q. What would you say was the most effective decision you've made so far with Moncler?
A. To trust my intuition and to believe in the power of simple ideas.