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Moncler to Stage Genius Show in China in Pandemic Pivot

Speaking at VOICES 2020, Chairman and CEO Remo Ruffini called the move a ‘software update’ to the Italian skiwear brand’s marketing strategy, designed to harness momentum in the critical Chinese market.
Moncler's latest 'Genius' collaboration with Craig Green. Moncler.
Moncler's latest 'Genius' collaboration with Craig Green. Moncler.

Moncler is forging ahead with its “Genius” strategy — which harnesses collaborations with a rotating cast of creatives to fuel capsule collections and online marketing buzz throughout the year — with a renewed focus on the critical Chinese market, where luxury sales have bounced back from the pandemic far faster than elsewhere.

A physical event to launch the next round of Genius collaborations will take place in China this September and be broadcast online to the rest of the world. Designer choices have yet to be announced.

“We had to update our software,” explained Chairman and Chief Executive Remo Ruffini, speaking at The Business of Fashion’s VOICES 2020 summit Wednesday. “We’re going to move to a super energetic country like China. I didn’t want to skip the physical event,” he continued. “We’ll still have people there but with a different approach. It’s going to be more like a studio broadcasting the event to the world, not just a fashion show.”

Remo Ruffini and Imran Amed speak during VOICES 2020. Getty Images.

The event’s September timing is a better fit for Moncler’s skiwear focus with its proximity to the start of the skiing season, which enthusiasts hope will come back in force from 2021 after being severely curtailed by coronavirus restrictions in France, Germany and Italy this year (Swiss and Austrian resorts are set to remain open).

Ruffini doesn’t expect overall fashion demand to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2023, though sales in mainland China are projected to return to pre-crisis levels by as early as Q4 2020, according to The Business of Fashion and McKinsey’s State of Fashion 2021 report.

“This crisis could be an opportunity,” he said. “You cannot stay sitting in your chair for two or three years. We need to find new projects and new ways to work. Most interesting is to redesign your company based on the future.”

Moncler is retaining its slot on the Milan Fashion Week calendar, where the brand has launched previous editions of Genius with video installations, catwalks and cocktail parties, saying the week will continue to serve as a “key moment” for the company.

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