An unseasonably warm November in Southern California isn’t stopping Moncler from flaunting the newest duvet-based designs in its Moncler Genius collaborations with Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli, Palm Angels, Simone Rocha and a growing circle of buzzworthy designers and labels.
The Italian fashion company unveiled its House of Genius this month at Maxfield in West Hollywood and Moncler’s other temporary concept stores in Milan, Paris and Tokyo.
Open through Thursday, Moncler’s West Coast pop-up shop is housed in Maxfield’s industrial-meets-nomadic structure designed by modernist architect Jean Prouvé.
At the kickoff party in Maxfield’s parking lot, R&B star Usher, actor Tommy Dorfman, members of the boy band PrettyMuch, singer-songwriter Yuna, social-media heartthrob Cameron Dallas and other celebrities got a chance to represent California in Moncler’s four parties that crisscrossed the globe during a span of 24 hours. A performance by new R&B “it” girl Summer Walker amplified the evening’s celebratory vibe.
If the famous faces didn’t attract enough attention on the corner of Melrose Avenue and Robertson Boulevard, the pop-up shop’s glass walls displaying Moncler Genius’ bright yellow logo might catch a passerby’s eye.
Inside the gallery-like space space, pallets and plywood wardrobes offer a simple setting to showcase the gamut of trends — from psychedelic maximalism and Victorian lace to skater-boy style and Western fringe.
The foundation of the collaborations consist of cold-weather staples, including puffer jackets, snow jumpsuits and cashmere knits. There are also street-smart items such as graphic T-shirts, a skateboard and a fire extinguisher if things get too hot in L.A.
As Hiroshi Fujiwara, the hip-hop DJ-turned-founder of Japanese streetwear line Fragment and a returning collaborator, summed up in his designer’s statement, “Moncler Genius is the opportunity to mix different identities into a new one.”
Moncler presented the first iteration of Moncler Genius last year. This fall, for its third round, it has re-teamed with Piccioli, Rocha, Craig Green and Palm Angels, whose founder, Francesco Ragazzi, also oversaw the artistic direction for the Moncler House of Genius. Moncler’s two in-house brands, 1952 and Grenoble, are part of the project again.
Unwilling to leave pups out in the cold, Moncler is bringing back bright insulated vests by Milan-based Poldo Dog Couture.
In a new twist this year, Piccioli involved model Liya Kebede, who introduced him to African textile artisans who made vivid trims for his puffy skirts, hooded jackets, gowns and capes. Fujiwara staged a collaboration within a collaboration with Japanese bag maker Porter, which created a $1,005 tote bag in shiny black nylon.
Also, 1952 enlisted the leather expertise of Italian accessories company Valextra to help create five sleek bags, including a $5,700 leather duffel hanging from a strap mixing supple leather and padded nylon.
Moncler added two new designers to this fall and winter season: Richard Quinn, who received the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design for his 3-year-old namesake label, and Matthew Williams, the creative director who worked with Lady Gaga before starting his New York-based fashion brand 1017 ALYX 9SM.
Most of the styles are available for purchase, but some have staggered releases. The canine clothing and accessories are available now. (Online, doggy fashion ranges from $275 to $575.)
Green’s lineup will hit stores in December, and the collections by Piccioli and Williams will arrive a month later.
H. Lorenzo, Kith and the Webster at South Coast Plaza are the other retailers selling Moncler Genius in Southern California.
However, Maxfield is the only location offering 21 exclusive items such as Fragment’s tote made with Porter; Palm Angels’ vintage-inspired striped puffer vest ($1,285); Rocha’s black poncho coat covered with hand-embroidered flowers ($3,105); and Quinn’s full-length green parka printed with a hodgepodge of flowers, geometric shapes and zebra stripes ($2,815).