In the last few seasons, we’ve seen fashion giants take on an alternative approach to their fashion week presentations by launching initiatives dedicated to fostering emerging talent. Whilst collectives such as Fashion East have been operating like this for a while, recently celebrating their 20th anniversary, we’ve more recently seen houses like Gucci and Moncler launch programmes in which they take on a roster of designers, who produce collections under the larger house.
Whilst the former – Gucci Vault’s ‘Conversations’ – launched a week ago, Moncler’s programme entitled ‘Moncler Genius’ arrived in AW18. For SS22, Moncler used Milan Fashion Week as a base in which to display their collections, but this one was different. It encompassed 11 different designers, all showing their own collections or installations, from 5 global cities. A slew of celebrity hosts led the global audience through the presentation, from Alicia Keys in Milan to Victoria Song in Shanghai.
The reaction was immense – the company reported that their MONDOGENIUS presentation on September 25 reached an unprecedented 2.3 billion people, and enjoyed 299 million worldwide views.
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So how did they pull these extraordinary figures? Well, the experience made use of both the physical and digital realms. Audiences were invited to each of the 5 cities’ presentations, most of whom will have been livestreaming to their own social media networks. The designers’ own profiles, as well as the celebrity hosts and collaborators will have also contributed. Digitally, the show was live streamed both on Moncler’s dedicated microsite, but also on over 30 social media, e-tailor and media platforms (yes, even LinkedIn). China’s Weibo on its own totalled over 74 million views, breaking records for both Moncler and the country.
Another aspect in reaching so many people, apart from the sheer geography of the project, was the commitment to diverse and varied presentations. Whilst some designers in the roster opted for traditional fashion shows, others went for spectacular displays of simulated sky-diving. Moncler 1952 Man chose an art and charity collaboration: under designer Sergio Zambon, the brand partnered with online art marketplace ‘Artsy’ to create a series of artworks inspired by the Moncler 1952 Man designs. These included an aptly titled ‘Fat Car’, inspired by the iconic Moncler puffer jacket, which was then sold at auction for charity.
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To coincide with the auction, an event titled “Instant Message: A One-Day Exhibition,” was held on September 25 at Milan’s Central Station. All proceeds from the artwork benefitted the non-profit, FREE THE WORK, in an effort to promote diversity and inclusionary practices through the hiring of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), along with transgender staff across film, television and advertisement.
In all, CEO Remo Ruffini’s aim of achieving ‘a festival of cross-pollination’ with Moncler’s MONDOGENIUS show seems to have been well and truly achieved. Joining the company in 2018, just prior to the first Genius unveiling, Ruffini has brought an increased focus on customers to the luxury brand, and has set the stage for questioning what could come next for fashion presentations.