In a world where digital presentations have become the new normal, Moncler has double down digitally. On September 25, the brand behind the puffer jacket, went live globally with their latest Genius Collection, “MONDOGENIUS.” The event included 11 different designers and was staged across five cities: Shanghai, New York, Milan, Seoul, and Tokyo.
For Chinese netizens, who’s interest in the brand has only increased since the onset of COVID-19, there was great attention and expectations for the immersive event, which came on the heels of Moncler’s popular 7 MONCLER FRGMT HIROSHI FUJIWARA 2021 collection in early July and their dedicated Chinese Valentine capsule series — both Chinese consumer favorites.
Perhaps more importantly, the continued hype around Moncler’s Genius collections has transformed it into an additional revenue generating product line for the brand. According to their first-half 2021 financial results, the brand’s revenue climbed 43 percent to $663 million (565.5 million euros), with respect to the H1 2020. In particular, the Chinese mainland market drove the APAC region’s robust double-digit growth compared with Q2 2019, and the revenues there almost doubled than the same period in 2019 (pre-pandemic).
Here, Jing Daily explores how Moncler reimagines digital presentations, how it continues to attract Chinese audiences, and what new brand storytelling has been communicated through their latest show.
Show invitations on social platforms
For this event, instead of a paper or digital invitation, Moncler sent out a pair of custom sunglasses — part of collaboration between the house and the luxury eyewear maker Gentle Monster — to mark the occasion in a new and inviting way. The sunglasses were a way of highlighting the idea of “swipe,” as the collection serves as an emotional response to the digitally minded society and contemporary culture’s close relationship with social media. Featuring a “swipe” touchscreen on the temple, the eyewear, posted by influencers who received it, created vast social buzz before the show.
Meanwhile, Moncler partnered with a host of Chinese celebrities to shoot teaser videos, featuring brand ambassador Victoria Song, and brand partners consisting of three members from the boy group INTO1 (Santa, Mika and Zhou Keyu), celebrated architect and founder of Studio QI, Qi Shanshan, and actress Guan Xiaotong. Their endorsements attracted thousands of engagements on Weibo, which garnered strong netizen attention for the show’s livestream.
Narrowing the gap between the digital and physical
Hosting the event, live from Milan, was the award-winning singer, songwriter, and producer, Alicia Keys. While she interacted with Victoria Song, who was live in Shanghai, the show pivoted between the other four cities. Through leveraging technologies like computer graphics and 3D modeling that erased the limitations of the physical realm, the “MONDOGENIUS” digital experience seamlessly linked the two worlds, creating an inviting space to engage in new conversations, exchange ideas, and welcome creative expressions from around the world.
With surreal installations, graphics, and real locations, the 50-minute livestream alluded to the metaverse that has been frequently explored by the creative industry. Meanwhile, the multimedia presentation transcended typical, in person runway shows, with an emphasis on products, delivering layered messages through the oral and visual storytelling.
Thanks to the social teasers and extraordinary digital presentation, the live show racked up a combined viewership of 128 million across all Chinese platforms.
Cultural inclusivity in Moncler’s brand DNA
Today, fashion is more than clothes, handbags, shoes, and accessories. It’s about communities and cultures that each participant aims to shape together. This principle guided the creation of Moncler Genius for 2021, as stated by Chairman and CEO Remo Ruffini in the show notes, stating: “I truly believe in the power of connecting communities around experiences and creative visions.”
This was greatly reflected in the curation of the digital presentation. In Shanghai, for example, where three collaborations were staged, including 3 MONCLER GRENOBLE, 7 MONCLER FRGMT HIROSHI FUJIWARA, and MONCLER + DINGYUN ZHANG, 3 MONCLER GRENOBLE’s dazzling performance was illustrated by 12 performers, defying gravity in three wind tunnels. Qi explained to Victoria Song, the Shanghai host, how “architecture is a force for creativity,” linking the world and its inhabitants, to mirror Hiroshi Fujiwara’s FRGMT sensibility. While the up-and-coming Chinese designer Dingyun Zhang showcased its futuristic underwater aesthetic for the first time.
Moreover, watching an event with such global talents, the viewer not only discovers new designs and new designers, but also how fashion can push creative boundaries and how these breakthroughs can be displayed in the online realm. Moncler, once again, proved that digital presentations are not merely alternatives to physical runways, but an inclusive way to build connections with a broader audience and community around the world.