Pushing the Puffer

by Barbara Hodes and NYC Private Shopping Tour Photographed by Barbara Hodes and Joel Schildhorn/BFA
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Moncler coats and jackets are always on display on the streets of New York, sported by the many fans of the brand. Remo Ruffini, the owner and creative director, has always been in the forefront of creative advertising and cutting edge design collaborations. His new concept, The House of Genius, pushes the puffer even further. Visit its temporary store on Spring Street and immerse yourself in the style and attitude of the eight separate visions you’ll find there.

The space is a highly and engagingly designed gallery that takes shoppers on a trip through the Moncler Experience. The opening party last week brought several of the brand’s design collaborators, among them  Pierpaolo Piccioli of Valentino, to New York. He debuted his simultaneously flamboyant and monastic vision for the brand and a gaggle of chic guests wore some of the looks. The space is one of two House of Genius stores housing the eight Projects; the other is in Tokyo, They offer limited edition clothing, accessories and playful design tokens that are bound to become collector’s items. You have until the end of the year to experience the space. Pick up a piece of two and spread the vision. Hopefully there will be a lot more to come because what’s in the store is going to sell out quickly. Monthly drops are promised.

Pierpaolo Piccioli’s technical mastery of the Moncler vocabulary is not a surprise. Nor is his singular imagination. The coats, dresses, capes and accessories (above) come in a variety of beautifully offbeat colors that you can mix and match to create a variety of looks. Regal and sportif, they are unbelievably flattering and are featured in a specially-designed igloo that is as spare as the looks. Should you be hip enough to play vinyl, take home Alexander Desplat’s pieces, commissioned by Mr. Piccioli for the store.  Or you can pick up or gift an iconic Piccioli for Moncler figure.

Adding a feminine vibe to the Projects is Simone Rocha, the London-based designer. An Irish-Chinese fashion upbringing has allowed her to create her own signature that is flirty, feminine and absolutely avant-garde. Her pieces blend ready to wear and outerwear deftly. Strong but delicate jewelry and a small collection of footwear round out her presentation. The clothing is displayed against a dramatic winter wonderwall that shows just how spectacular her pieces are.


Craig Green, the award winning British men’s wear designer, has a collection of shoes, jackets, sweatshirts, tees, and bags that sit in a space with a space age fantasy figure.

3 Moncler Grenoble is a collection of creatively technical skiwear. It is an engaging mix of retro prints and patterns mixed in a thoroughly modern way. The collection is rounded out by colorful ski helmets. The figures are housed in a stunning glass structure that reflects the colorful mannequins.

You have to search to find the Noir Kei Ninomiya installation. A rack of his work points the way to a hidden room, it is black of course. Should you not be familiar with his label,  the name is self-descriptive. After interning and working with Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons, Mr. Ninomiya started his own collection. The pieces he did for Moncler are consistent with his vision. They are very edgy and varied, with simplicity and extreme complexity presented in a unified way.

The 2 Moncler 1952 Collection is one of the first installations you see when you enter the store. The name refers to the year the company was founded. The covetable jackets, sweaters and vests come in a variety of mix-and-match colors. One of the best pieces is done in a patchwork quilt pattern, and hidden on shelves around the stores are equally desirable duvet patchwork blankets.

The work of Fragments Hiroshi Fujwara, a Japanese streetwear icon, musician and record producer, is placed in front of a glass walled bamboo garden. Logos and textures are cheekily mixed, in a collection of jackets, tees and shirts. The street-sharp collection even boasts its own Burton snowboard.

Palm Angels, the clever Italian streetwear brand is housed in a glowing red shop within a store. The line designed by Francesco Ragazzi is a collection of all sorts of tees, sweats, pants, jackets and accessories. The line’s I’m So High mantra is repeated on clothing and skateboards. Get the book, and get the look.


Scattered around the stores are displays with accessories, impeccable Dog Couture by Poldo, Christmas ornaments, desk delights, yellow and black Genius logoed pencils pads, stickers, notebooks and a plethora of figures–all perfectly thought out to capture your imagination. And after you buy something–and you will–take a look at the machine that dispenses balls of House of Genius stickers (below). All shopping should be this engaging.

NYC Private Shopping Tour is AVENUE’s new shopping column, covering retail exclusively for


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