With An Eye To The Future, Moncler Is Winning The Long Game In China

Key Takeaways:

  • Moncler’s Asia sales soared by 53 percent in Q1 2021, thanks to its innovative retail experiences, attempts at resonating with young consumers, and greater brand desirability.

  • On July 5, the 7 MONCLER FRGMT HIROSHI FUJIWARA 2021 collection was dropped on the brand’s WeChat Mini Program ahead of its offline release on July 8. This drop model, which prioritizes digital channels, caters to Chinese online shoppers while also fueling social buzz around the collaboration.

  • From product development to consumer communication, Moncler aimed its vision at future generations, which will likely fuel its success moving forward.

Despite most regions in China reporting record-breaking heat this July, Moncler’s newly dropped collection still managed to woo fans. The brand’s latest 7 MONCLER FRGMT HIROSHI FUJIWARA attracted strong demand on its WeChat Mini Program. Two SKUs sold out within three minutes, and five SKUs sold out within 12 hours, making this latest drop a veritable magnet for Chinese consumer interest. Even the blistering weather could not dampen their desire for this crossover between a white-hot luxury house and the undisputed godfather of Japanese streetwear.

However, this hype for Moncler Genius drops didn’t happen overnight. In the first quarter of 2021, the brand’s parent company reported outstanding financial results, with revenues rising 21 percent to $439 million (365.5 million euros), beating analyst expectations of $433 million (361 million euros). By region, the house saw its Asia sales soar by 53 percent, largely thanks to Mainland China and Korea. In particular, its focus on innovative retail experiences and attempts at resonating with younger consumers paid off with local buyers.

This substantial growth can also be attributed to Moncler’s increased brand desirability. It has earned a top-five ranking on the Lyst Index — a quarterly ranking of fashion’s hottest brands and products — every quarter since 2020, and Lyst highlighted its Genius project as a key driver of this appeal. The creative project, introduced in 2018, has been connecting with Chinese fashionistas via multifaceted localization approaches. 

And in December 2020, Moncler announced it would present a reformatted Moncler Genius 2021 project in Shanghai in September, indicating that the brand is doubling down on the market. Now, with the launch of 7 MONCLER FRGMT HIROSHI FUJIWARA, Jing Daily takes a closer look at how Moncler reinvigorated its brand by leveraging its collaborations worldwide, achieved digital dominance in China, and grew its image beyond those famous puffer jackets. 

A collision of luxury, streetwear, and utilitarian

Fujiwara, a pivotal figure in the streetwear landscape, is a household name to Chinese streetwear enthusiasts. As an influencer and tastemaker who bridges streetwear and high fashion, he has engaged his label Fragment Design in collaborations with some of the world’s most recognizable names. 

Fujiwara in his latest collab with Moncler. Photo: Courtesy of Moncler

In this recent partnership, Fujiwara merges functional design and mysterious slogans with the brand’s technical expertise to deliver seemingly conventional pieces that are full of hidden surprises. As female consumers have shown a growing interest in streetwear, this demographic has become a crucial market opportunity. As such, for the very first time, this collection includes a capsule of womenswear, which should engage with female customers interested in Fujiwara’s signature staples.

Overall, the first drop of 7 MONCLER FRGMT HIROSHI FUJIWARA 2021 offers a broader category of products, focused on lighter, mid-season items, such as bombers, male workwear jackets, and skirts for women, in addition to signature puffers. This approach diversifies dressing scenarios, whether summer or winter, offering consumers layering options and functional garments.                                      

Upgrading the digital-first strategy in China

In addition to product innovation, Moncler has experimented with an online-first strategy in China for the first time. On July 5, the brand dropped 7 MONCLER FRGMT HIROSHI FUJIWARA 2021 on its WeChat Mini Program in advance of its July 8 offline release. This drop model, which prioritizes digital channels, caters to Chinese online shoppers that demand privileges, but it also fuels social buzz around a collaboration.

The homepage of Moncler’s drop of 7 MONCLER FRGMT HIROSHI FUJIWARA 2021 in WeChat Mini Program. Photo: WeChat screenshots

In fact, Moncler showed its ambitions for digital transformation even before the pandemic outbreak. During the brand’s H1 2020 earnings call, Remo Ruffini, Moncler’s chairman & CEO, said that “With the acceleration of our digital strategy, Moncler aims to double the share of its online business over the next three years.” He explained by saying that, “at Moncler, every project, from the definition of collections to product development and event concept definition, should be digital-first and, therefore, must be inspired and designed to fit digital platforms perfectly, as [digital] is the first touchpoint for customers, to then be spread across all other channels.” 

But Moncler’s dedication to digital domination has gone beyond a manifesto. One year ago, Moncler hosted a livestream on Weibo celebrating the launch of 7 MONCLER FRGMT HIROSHI FUJIWARA 2020 collection. It reached 32 million views in one day and became the benchmark for luxury brand livestreams on the social platform. 

An always-on vision for future generations

Alongside online initiatives, Moncler has also rolled out physical activations to engage Chinese Gen-Z shoppers. Last October, it launched its China-exclusive Moncler Young Icons collection by unveiling an immersive project in Shanghai called “Pladis: Data Universe.” The pop-up installation, which was created by Los Angeles-based multi-media artist Refik Anadol, attracted the local fashion scene, thanks to brand partnerships with emerging celebrities and its omnichannel touchpoints.

Recommended ReadingHow Moncler Won The Luxury Gen-Z Market In ChinaBy Wenzhuo Wu

Moncler’s dynamic experiments resonated greatly with younger Mainland consumers, and the house is even more attuned to future possibilities now. Similarly, Fujiwara always has an eye on tomorrow, and together they have created several sustainably-led garments, such as a puffer jacket made from organic cotton plus sustainable fabrics and quilted jackets that use recycled fabrics.

On a broader level, the company has embraced a circular economic model by integrating sustainability into products and processes across the entire production line. These initiatives range from choosing the most sustainable materials to extending the life of products through repair services, “second life” projects, and low environmental impact design that facilitates recovery, recycling, production, distribution, and packaging processes.

“Moncler Born to Protect” sustainable puffers. Photo: Courtesy of Moncler

In October 2020, the company reaffirmed its commitment to the environment by announcing the launch of its “Moncler Born to Protect” sustainability plan, which focuses on five strategic priorities: climate change, circular economy, responsible sourcing, valuing diversity, and support for local communities. From product development to the way it communicates with its consumers, the house is building its cultural, environmental, and social credibility among younger generations. And, as the competition between global luxury brands in China is only set to increase, for Moncler, it will likely come down to its vision for future generations that will help fuel its success today — and beyond.