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Moncler is a French-Italian apparel manufacturer and lifestyle brand founded in 1952 by René Ramillon most known for its down jackets and sportswear. Moncler took its name from the abbreviation of Monestier-de-Clermont, an Alpine town near Grenoble, France. In 2003, the brand was bought by the Italian entrepreneur Remo Ruffini. Moncler’s flagship store is on the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris.
The name is an abbreviation of Monestier-de-Clermont, a village in the mountains near Grenoble. At the outset, Moncler produced quilted sleeping bags, a single model of a lined cagoule and tents with a telescopie structure and outside cover. The first quilted jackets were conceived for protecting workers from the cold. They used the jackets on top of their overalls in the small mountain establishment. The first to note them and realize their potential was the French mountaineer Lionel Terray. The result saw the specialist range “Moncler pour Lionel Terray”: quilted jackets, salopettes, gloves, high-resistance sleeping bags, and extreme protection made them suitable for the harshest climates. All were put to the test in the course of expeditions and were gradually improved.
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In 1954, Moncler quilted jackets were chosen to equip the Italian expedition to Karakorum, which culminated with the conquest of the earth’s second highest summit by Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli. Moncler also accompanied the French expedition which reached the summit of Makalù in 1995 and was the official supplier for expeditions in Alaska organised by Lionel Terray in 1964.
On occasion of the Grenoble Winter Olympics, Moncler became the official supplier of the French national downhill skiing team. It was a special event that was also to mark the change in logo: Mount Eguit, which rises up behind the village, was replaced by the cockerel. It was the French national downhill skiing team itself that requested a variation on the quilted jacket: it was no longer to be the double version but a single garment that would be more manageable, light, and well-suited to competition requirements. Initially called “Huascaran” and then “Nepal”, with the addition of leather epaulettes for resting the skis on without damaging the fabric, this more flexible and comfortable version of the jacket was to all intents and purposes the precursor of the present-day Moncler jacket, and heralded its success.
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Chantal Thomass, a designer who worked with the company until 1989, overhauled the appearance of the quilted jacket and she replaced the zipper with buttons and used fur trim, satin, and reversible fabrics.
In 2003, Moncler was bought out by the Italian entrepreneur Remo Ruffini, current President and Creative Director, who was to introduce the strategy of the global quilted jacket.
The IPO of Moncler on the Milan Stock Exchange took place on 16 December 2013, with an initial value of €10.20 per share. The shares were 31 times oversubscribed and rose 47% on the first day, resulting in a market capitalization of nearly €4 billion. Moncler hired celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz in August 2013 to shoot an ad campaign.
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