Moncler’s House of Genius initiative, a series of designer collaborations from Craig Green to Simone Rocha, have changed our collective concept of just what a puffer coat can be. Taking it from a primarily utilitarian piece of outerwear to the coolest part of an outfit—or even into red-carpet finery—the Italian lifestyle brand founded in 1952 found a hugely successful way to stay one step ahead.
House of Genius is an ongoing collaborative series that launched last year at Milan Fashion Week with eight designers including Rocha, Green, Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli, and Commes des Garçons alum Kei Ninomiya. It started as a way to subvert a system that doesn’t quite work anymore with fashion week calendars, seasons, and even, as The Cut pointed out, a reimagining of what clothes can be. Take Piccioli’s ballgown puffer coat, worn to tremendous exciting effect on the red carpet by Ezra Miller and Millie Bobby Brown.
The new lineup of designers working with the Genius Project brings Richard Quinn and Matthew Williams of 1017 ALYX 9SM to the table. Quinn, the 29-year-old British designer known for his bold, brilliant floral prints, will bring his ’50s/’60s-wallpaper-acid-trip vision to the puffer coat. It’s something he’s no stranger to, considering floral-print puffer coats were part of his debut show that had The Queen sitting next to Anna Wintour.
Williams’s rogue-military-agent-of-the-future aesthetic is pretty much the opposite of Quinn, which is kind of perfect for a series that has truly deconstructed and reinterpreted a singular piece of outerwear. The California native’s entertainment background—he was the former creative director for Lady Gaga and Kanye West—lends a sense of character development to his collections. The tactical gear, leather bags, clean single-breasted blazers, and chest rigs bring to mind a Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible type.
Moncler CEO Remo Ruffini told The Cut, “I think we’re completing our design team with two very innovative, charming, of-the-moment names. At the same time, we’re still able to talk with every generation.”
The two newest geniuses will unveil their work at Milan Fashion Week on February 20. Stay tuned!