Moncler Company History
Moncler was formed back in 1952, when a local entrepreneur, Rene Ramillon, started manufacturing covered tents and quilted
sleeping bags. Moncler took it's name from the French alpine village where Ramillon founded the company - Monastier de Clermont, near
Throughout the 1950's the company supplied equipment for a series of mountaineering expeditions for ascents on summits such as K2, Makalu and Mount Huntington.
Moncler's famous down jackets were actually a by-product of the company's other products - the padded
jackets being produced in the first instance to keep the worker's warm in Moncler's alpine workshop. Local climber's and mountaineers were soon asking
the company to supply them with not just sleeping bags and tents but jackets, pants and gloves. The rest is history, as Moncler's
trademark down jacket became renowned for it's style and warmth.
By the 1960's Moncler had established itself as France's leading brand in the winter sports arena, and it was the official supplier to the country's
Winter Olympic team during the 1968 games in nearby Grenoble. During this decade Moncler also started using the cockerel as its emblem.
Moncler was taken over by an Italian company in 1992, and the new parent company, Moncler Group, which also owns the Henry Cotton
and Marina Yachting brands, is actually now based in the Italian city of Milan, although the Moncler subsidiary is still supposedly run from France.
Moncler is about as close as the skiing industry gets to a high-end fashion catwalk at 10,000 feet !
There's not many other ski brands that use silk, tweed, let alone sequins, in their ski jackets, but with Moncler that's what you might get, and not even
the other uber-chic ski brands such as Bogner or Prada Sport do that.
Moncler seems to be intent on achieving a status of being a globally recognised luxury brand, along the lines
of other fashion houses, such as Prada, or Chanel, and has branched out into other areas of luxury accessories, such as
leather goods, shoes etc, and so you're now more likely to find shops selling Moncler in Hong Kong than you are around Hochkonig.
Moncler - Performance
This is a bit of a tricky one, because Moncler's reputation started with the quality of it's down jackets.
The jackets can still cope with the weather in the mountains, but when the emphasis on the jacket has become so heavily weighted
to the item's styling it's hard to talk of it in performance terms the same way as you would a brand like Mammut, Arc'teryx or Spyder.
And given the high price of the jackets, it seems that whilst serious skiing fashionistas with money to burn may strive for a one thousand pound
Moncler jacket, serious skiers with money to burn would probably strive for a thousand pound Kjus jacket.
It seems a shame that when people discus Moncler nowadays they are more than likely discussing the merits of what it looks like,
rather than how it will perform under certain weather conditions. Why is it a shame ? Well, this was historically an innovative
company - Moncler manufactured the first quilted down and nylon jacket, the down being blown into the jacket to fill the voids,
so it just seems a shame that the jackets are now best known for how they look, rather than for how they perform.
So yes, Moncler has produced an iconic quilted jacket, but it's a jacket that is now more iconic on the streets than it is in the mountains.
Moncler - Pricing
Hmmm, how can we best explain how expensive Moncler's gear is ? How about this...
Ok, so you're as pleased as punch that you've managed to save up some serious cash for a new ski jacket... yes, you've lied to your wife
about the weekly budget, you've not had a drink for two months, and the kids are wearing shoes that have been hurting their feet
for a year, but you've done it - you've got about 300 shiny one pound nuggets in your pot and you're ready to purchase a new
jacket. Fancy buying a Moncler jacket with your hard-earned lolly ? Well keep saving sunshine. Yeah, keep saving for about
another two years, because to buy a Moncler jacket you're going to need to save the same again twice over. Yes, Moncler is
seriously expensive stuff, with their jackets ranging anywhere between 700 and 1100 of your most sterling of English pounds.
Moncler - Stockists
Moncler clothing is available at the following Ski and Snow-sports Shops: