February 14, 2018 / 7:02 AM / 10 months ago

REFILE-Moncler launches 'Genius' creative hub in new product strategy

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MILAN, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Italy’s Moncler said on Wednesday it had launched a new project called ‘Moncler Genius’, a group of creative designers that would shape the brand’s new strategy, focusing on monthly launches of new products.

The group, known for its luxury puffer jackets, signalled a change in its path in November, ditching its two ready-to-wear catwalk clothing lines and parting ways with its designers. But it did not give any indication of what direction it would take.

“Moncler Genius is a vision of the future, available now. A vision beyond the seasons establishing a daily dialogue with consumers,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

In recent years the luxury outerwear maker, like its peers, has been facing a more demanding, digital-savvy and younger clientele.

The brands are coming under increased pressure by customers, who ask for more collections during the year, as well as limited items and exclusive capsule lines and unique pieces.

The Milan-based group said it plans to launch new products monthly.

Traditionally fashion houses presented collections twice a year, for spring-summer and autumn-winter.

The eight creative directors involved in Moncler’s project include Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli, former Gucci menswear designer Sandro Mandrino, Irish Simone Rocha and Moncler’s own artistic director Francesco Ragazzi.

Founded as a traditional skiwear brand in the French Alps in 1952, the Milan-based group was turned into a trendy fashion label after now chairman and chief executive Remo Ruffini took control in 2003 and floated it on the Milan stock market in December 2013.

Moncler, whose puffer jackets can cost more than 1,000 euros ($1,200), posted a higher-than-expected 15 percent rise in nine-month sales, and revenue in the same period was up 16 percent at constant exchange rates.

$1 = 0.8090 euros Reporting by Giulia Segreti; Editing by Kim Coghill and Dale Hudson

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