This week’s study tour visit to Moncler drew us out of the blustering New York winds into the showroom of the world’s best down coats in the world.
We met with Sarah, the director of women’s collections of the French brand. Founded in 1952 in the French Alps, the company originally produced ski bindings, ski poles, tents and comforters. The sporting goods company eventually migrated from down comforters into coats, filling a niche in the luxury outerwear market.
Warm but lightweight, the coats were trendy in the 1970s jet set lifestyle, then moving into 1980s Milanese youths pairing the neon nylon lacquer jackets with American jeans and Timberland boots. Since then, the silhouettes have slimmed down into trendy, formfitting jackets and other product categories, such as sportswear, soft accessories, bags and footwear.
Engaging in wholesale and wholly-owned boutiques, the company has over 100 mono brand stores and is sold in higher-end department stores like Bergdorf Goodman and Bloomingdales. Trying to maintain its luxury price point, the company discourages sales in department stores and never markdown in retail stores. This was very sad news for my bank account. This year’s Christmas present?