Facing Uncertainty, Moncler Genius Project Is On The Line

Moncler, the Italian luxury fashion brand, will reassess all levels of its entire system, said Chairman and CEO, Remo Ruffini, as the group’s revenue in the first quarter 2020 dropped by 18 percent to 310.1 million euros ($334.5 million), compared to 378.5 million euros ($408.3 million) in the first quarter of 2019.

In a release, Moncler said that while the Asia-Pacific region accounts for around 40 percent of their global business, it has seen revenues decrease by 23 percent, far below the group’s average, with Hong Kong continuing to record “very negative” results, while mainland China has only seen initial signs of recovery in March. 

On the other hand, Ruffini expressed uncertainty with the Moncler Genius Project, which he initiated in 2018. The project, which features a host of different designers’ takes on its classic puffer jackets and other pieces, first experienced a COVID-19 hit during this year’s Milan Fashion Week, when it had to cancel its fashion presentation in the last minute. “If I feel good about Genius, we will continue, if not, we will change, following our customer and our community,” the CEO said in the earnings call. 

Jing Take:

The streetwear and sneaker trend, which for years has lived on hype, has become one of the hardest hit fashion categories by the COVID-19 crisis. Given this, the Moncler Genius Project now finds itself on the line. Upon debuting at Milan Fashion Week 2018, the initiative garnered much excitement for the brand and added exciting new product drops between winter seasons. This may no longer be the case, however. Mr. Ruffini has been mulling this over for a while, as shown by his interview with Bloomberg earlier this month. 

With the potential of a second wave of COVID-19 hitting various global markets this fall, there’s concern that Moncler’s rebound forecast for later this year may not happen as hoped for. Will consumers shop for new puffer jackets when they might be expected to be locked down once again during the late fall and early winter months? Additionally, will consumers still be interested in Genius Project drops when they are still housebound? Mr. Ruffini might find out by early May, when Irish designer Simone Rocha’s Moncler Genius Project designs become available online. Might it be time for another “genius” project for a brand trying to weather the COVID-19 crisis? 


Simone Rocha’s collection with Moncler is due to drop on May 7. Photo: Moncler

The Jing Take reports on a leading piece of news while presenting our editorial team’s analysis of its key implications for the luxury industry. In this recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debates that sprout up on Chinese social media.


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