French mountaineer Lionel Terray (above) was the first to realize the potential of Moncler’s earliest quilted puffers, and in 1954 he commissioned a specialized collection of jackets, ski pants, and gloves that were put to the test at extremely low temperatures.
In the mid-eighties, a band of affluent Milanese teens made fashion history when their look—rolled-up jeans, button-down shirts, Ray-Bans, and brightly colored puffer jackets—spawned a Moncler craze, culminating in the sale of 40,000 of the jackets worldwide. The paninari (above), as the preppies were called because of the fast-food joints where they would hang out (panini is Italian for sandwich), effectively brought the outerwear from the slopes to the streets. However, it was a short-lived trend, stymied by the fact that, at the time, the garments weren’t waterproof.
In 2009, music producer and all-around design freak Pharrell Williams (left) created a capsule collection for Moncler crafted with Bionic Yarn, a company that makes high-performance fabrics from recycled bottles.
Bruce Weber created a short film in 2011 called Don’t Steal the Jacket, starring a little girl, her Pomeranian, and a missing puffer. A couple of years prior, he had brought humor to the brand with an ad campaign that featured his pack of golden retrievers sporting the outerwear (above).
Inspired by a scene from Luchino Visconti’s The Witch Burned Alive, starring sixties screen siren Silvana Mangano in Saint Moritz, Gamme Rouge’s fall 2012 collection (left) included a wealth of mink and Mongolian lamb.
For this year’s anniversary festivities, Moncler created a series of cartoons that tell the company’s story from the perspective of its mascot, MonDuck, who appears on the inside of the jackets. The series takes us from the early days, in which a gaggle of adventurous geese climbs to the top of a mountain in puffer jackets, to the present, where the gregarious mallard is surrounded by his famous and fashionable friends (left).