How Moncler went from bankruptcy to fashion's hottest brand

In keeping up with the Joneses, another fashion luxury giant from Europe opens its doors in Melbourne in an Australian first, parking its puffer ambition at Chadstone Shopping Centre.  

Moncler is best known for its fusion of outerwear and luxury sportswear – ideally suited to a French Alp lifestyle. But the brand has become one to watch at New York Fashion Week (since billionaire CEO Remo Ruffini took over the brand in 2003) and sees the classic puffer jacket become a high end street style must-have.

Ever since rapper Drake wore a bright orange one in the Hotline Bling video clip in 2015, sales for the $1200 jacket went through the roof and brought a new army of Instagram followers to the Moncler heritage brand. Compounding the garment's place in pop culture, Drake wore a sleeveless yellow version to Coachella earlier this year.

Welcome to Melbourne

It's this quilted jacket dreaminess that you can now purchase in Melbourne with prêt-à-porter collections and knitwear available for men and women. The brands available include Moncler Grenoble, Moncler Enfant, Moncler Lunettes and Moncler Gamme Bleu.

The renowned heritage brand is enjoying a luxury renaissance thanks to the Italian billionaire and president of Moncler, Remo Ruffini who salvaged the brand in the early 2000s from bankruptcy.

The key to Ruffini's success with the brand was his overseeing the essence of Alp elegance repurposed to sit in the street style space with credibility.

Alpine elegance on the street

But it's also Ruffini's decision to collaborate with other designers that has seen the Moncler brand gain popularity among celebrities. From Junya Watanabe to Giambattista Valli and more recently Thom Browne – the puffer has become an upmarket item – and in their capable hands comes complete with fur and silk trimmings. What's more he calls on photographer Annie Liebovitz to shoot his campaigns when she can – he's a man with many connections.

This month the brand teams with American West Coast designer Greg Lauren for a limited edition capsule titled Collide– think fragments of denim garments and repurposed fabrics to incorporate in Moncler's signature puffer and outerwear – where runway meets the street so to speak.

With more than 190 stores around the world, the new Chadstone boutique covers 200 square metres and in the collaborative hands of French architects Gilles & Boissier, it charms around themes of smoky oak, white marble as well as red and beige leather.

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