SIMONE ROCHA and Moncler pair up to introduce alpine wear to the social media generation. By GEORGINA SAFE
Moncler x Simone Rocha reimagines Alpine wear.
When Moncler asked Simone Rocha to collaborate on a collection, she discovered that daring Victorian women climbers scaled mountains in their petticoats.
“I started thinking about mountaineering and femininity, and I found all this research about 19th-century women with these voluminous silhouettes going up the peaks,” Rocha says. “I thought these women were so strong and yet so feminine, and that contrast really appealed to me.”
The result is a range for the brand founded in 1952 in the Alpine town of Monestier-de-clermont that deconstructs its classic down jackets with the Irish designer’s signature subversive romance.think puffers of exaggerated proportions replete with ruffles, bustles, beading and embroidery, along with plenty of voluminous sleeves and sweeping skirts to infuse the performance brand with Rocha’s arresting eccentric-chic.
“My original discussions with Moncler were about the idea of being outside and against the elements, and then I thought about the most sincere way I could incorporate that into my aesthetic,” Rocha explains. “I thought of the snowy mountains and the natural foliage growing up through the cracks in the rocks, and then I reinterpreted that with textiles and embroidery and little flowers ‘growing’ out of the seams of down jackets.”
Rocha’s intrepid femalevictorian explorers are part of Moncler Genius, an ambitious new strategy to reimagine its ski jackets through rolling collaborations with some of the world’s top designers. Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli, London’s avant-garde menswear designer Craig Green, Comme des Garçons alumnus Kei Ninomiya and Japanese musician,writer and designer Hiroshi Fujiwara are among the diverse talents from around the globe who are taking turns each month to present their take on Moncler in stores and pop-ups and online. “We constantly need to offer new experiences and new ideas [and] we have chosen designers who differ greatly from each other, as we have always spoken to different generations,” says Moncler CEO and chairman Remo Ruffini. Unlike the traditional twice-yearly spring/summer and autumn/winter deliveries, the ranges, including menswear, womenswear and childrenswear, arrive every four weeks, with Rocha’s launching on September 20.“We have overhauled everything by overcoming the very concept of seasons,” Ruffini says. Rocha was attracted to Moncler Genius due to its innovative nature, as well as the technical challenges of her boutique brand working with such a behemoth.“the concept is very forward-thinking for a heritage brand,” she says. “It was also an interesting challenge because I’ve always worked in a very atelier fashion and it was new to work on such a large scale. I have an independent family-run label with two of our own retail stores, whereas Moncler have about 200.” She is hoping exposure in them and online will introduce her brand to a new demographic as part of the strategy, which is designed to appeal to millennials in particular. “I’m excited to introduce it to a whole new customer at Moncler, with a focus on the new generation and an international spectrum,” Rocha says. “Millennials have such a powerful voice and can see the world from a fresh perspective, so Moncler connecting with those customers is really positive.” Simone Rocha’s Moncler Genius collection is available at the Moncler store in Chadstone, Melbourne, from September 20.
Looks from Moncler Genius Simone Rocha A/W 2018.