'The origins of the name are enclosed in the roots of the brand: Moncler is an abbreviation of Monastier de Clermont, a village in the mountains near Grenoble. Here, René Ramillon, the inspired entrepreneur who produced items for mountaineering and the author of dozens of patents, created the company that would give rise to the renowned quilted jacket. At the outset, Moncler produced quilted sleeping bags, a single model of a lined cagoule and tents with a telescopie structure and outside cover. It was these robust and functional tents in particular that met with the most positive response from the market, interpreting the new, widespread social phenomenon of the holiday to best effect.
The first quilted jackets were conceived for protecting workers from the cold. They used the jackets on top of their overalls in the small mountain establishment. The first to note them and realize their potential was French mountaineer Lionel Terray. The result saw the specialist range "Moncler pour Lionel Terray": quilted jackets, salopettes, gloves, high resistance sleeping bags and extreme protection made them suitable for the harshest climates. All were put to the test in the course of expeditions and were gradually perfected.
In 1954, Moncler quilted jackets were chosen to equip the Italian expedition to Karakorum, which culminated with the conquest of the earth's second highest summit by Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli. Moncler also accompanied the French expedition which reached the summit of Makalù in 1995 and was the official supplier for expeditions in Alaska organised by Lionel Terray in 1964.
On occasion of the Grenoble Winter Olympics, Moncler became the official supplier of the French national downhill skiing team. It was a special event that was also to mark the change in logo: Mount Eguit, which rises up behind the village, was replaced by the much-loved cockerel. It was the French national downhill skiing team itself that requested a new and decisive variation on the quilted jacket: it was no longer to be the double version but a single garment that would be more manageable, light and well-suited to competition requirements. Initially called "Huascaran" and then "Nepal", with the addition of leather epaulettes for resting the skis on without damaging the fabric, this more flexible and comfortable version of the jacket was to all intents and purposes the precursor of the present-day Moncler jacket, and heralded its imminent success. All the more so given that in those years snow-based tourism really took off and was soon destined to become a fully-fledged mass phenomenon.
Eighties was the period in which Moncler, with its lacquered effect expressed in dazzling colours and its original stitching, would also become a city affair. The encounter with designer Chantal Thomass, who worked with the company until 1989, overhauling the appearance of the quilted jacket, was a particularly fruitful one: she replaced the zip with buttons and used fur trim, satin and reversible fabrics.
In 2003 Moncler was bought out by Italian entrepreneur Remo Ruffini, today's President and Creative Director of the company, who was to introduce the strategy of the global quilted jacket.
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