PEAK TWINS

SI­MONE ROCHA and Mon­cler pair up to in­tro­duce alpine wear to the so­cial me­dia gen­er­a­tion. By GE­ORGINA SAFE

Harper’s Bazaar (Australia) - - Contents -

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.

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