The simple math behind Moncler’s Genius Spectacles

Major luxury and fashion brands traditionally present their new collections through catwalk shows organized for industry insiders, celebrities and top clients. Once upon a time, these events were the size of a large living room, if we think of the original Dior presentations. But in recent decades, they’ve become blockbusters, more for brand marketing than debut collections.

This method of generating marketing buzz takes a lot of work, however, because each time you have to create a new collection of looks to put on the runway, and then you have to wrangle and develop a complicated seating plan for the various personalities — plus journalists, buyers and others — attending. Moreover, the approach only scales so far.

In recent years, we’ve seen groundbreaking innovation from Italian ski brand Moncler, which replaced its seasonal collaborations with designers Thom Browne and Giambattista Valli with capsule collections co-created with a roster of partners, an initiative dubbed “Genius.”

But the key innovation was not only the idea of ​​creating multiple capsule collections per season. After all, capsules have been around for a while. The breakthrough was in the way the new collections were presented.

Instead of using a traditional catwalk format, with one or two thousand people attending, Moncler has organized parties in much larger venues, for one or more nights, for tens of thousands of people — not just insiders and high-spending customers, but also fans of the brand.

And because many more people can attend the event and see the products in the flesh, many more people post photos, multiplying the size of the social media buzz.

That’s what happened on Monday night, when over 10,000 people visited London’s Olympia exhibition center to see the brand’s new collaborations with Alicia Keys, Pharrell Williams, Hiroshi Fujiwara’s Frgmt, German car brand Mercedes-Benz and more.

It’s not rocket science, just simple math. The key point is the ratio between the number of people attending Genius events and the number of people attending traditional catwalk shows: this is a powerful social media multiplier, regardless of the fact that not every Genius attendee is an influencer.

The approach is a good example of how Moncler can play in the same league as brands with significantly larger revenues and therefore much larger advertising and communication budgets, creating similarly high productivity retail spaces. Moncler, a dwarf in the land of giants, has no choice but to do things differently to make more money.

Luca Solca is head of luxury goods research at Bernstein.

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