Posted on October 26 2021
Moncler is one of the leading luxury fashion brands out there, known predominantly for their quality outerwear collections.
The puffer jacket was the fashion must-have of the ‘80s, which continued through the streetwear trends of the ‘90s.
But when exactly did the iconic jacket become ‘in’ again? How did Moncler make the puffer jacket cool again?
Keep reading to learn more about the Moncler brand and the rise and fall of the famous puffer jacket.
What Is Moncler?
Moncler is a luxury fashion label that was founded in 1952, in the French Alps. In the Alps, the temperature regularly drops below freezing - which is where Andre Vincent and Rene Ramillion found the inspiration for designing quality, warm coats and jackets.
The name Moncler derives from Monestier-de-Clermont, which is a small village near the city of Grenoble at the foot of the French Alps.
The Moncler story begins around the Second World War. France became occupied, so outdoor activities such as mountain climbing or skiing were only available to a select few.
The select few included Vincent and Ramillion, as they were part of an organisation called ‘Chantiers de Jeunesse’ - so they were able to organize and participate in mountain activities and outdoor sports.
Due to the state of the economy at the time, people opted for low-cost holidays - and camping became a popular holiday option.
Vincent and Ramillion saw this window of opportunity, and due to their love of mountain life, they started up a shop selling and producing mountain-adventure equipment.
In the ’50s, Moncler sleeping bags, tents, and outerwear options were the most durable of the time and kept people warm in the sub-zero climates.
However, the first year of Moncler was a tough one - and they relied on local customers to stay afloat.
They recovered well and moved with the times, creating fashionable, luxury, and quality outerwear. They quickly became known for their warm coats and jackets, becoming one of the leading names in the industry.
Moncler items are easily recognisable from their logo. The logo features a large capital M using simple colours - red and navy.
This imitated the national colours of France, representing passion and loyalty. However, in 2021, the black and white variation is pretty common.
The M features an outline of a rooster, which is an unofficial symbol of France, representing hope, pride, and luck.
The first use of the logo was back in the 1960s - when Moncler began supplying equipment to the French Olympic downward skiing team.
What Is A Puffer Jacket?
The puffer jacket is a staple piece for any winter wardrobe - but it hasn’t always been. It’s practical, fashionable, and can keep anybody warm in the cold months of winter.
It’s an insulated and stylish jacket that won’t weigh you down like the Parka or the Duffel coat, giving it a competitive edge against all the other coat designs.
Like many iconic designs, the puffer jacket was invented by accident. The puffer jacket was first created by hiker Eddie Bauer. He owned a sporting and hunting shop in Seattle and took a fishing tip in the middle of winter.
Due to the extreme cold, he collapsed from fatigue and very nearly died due to hypothermia - which led him to realise that there was a gap in the market for warm, waterproof and lightweight jackets.
Other lightweight jackets of the time weren’t able to protect the body from extreme cold temperatures and weather. Bauer liaised with various suppliers and introduced the first down jacket - the Skyliner, which was patented in 1940.
The Skyliner is the basis of the modern puffer jacket - however, it wasn’t associated with luxury fashion until the late 1930s. Designer Charles James created a quilted down satin evening jacket, which was both luxurious and functional.
This design intersected with the streetwear scene of the ‘80s and ‘90s. Norma Kamali’s Sleeping Bag Coat, Margiela’s duvet coat, and the Paninaro subculture including Moncler were all formed on the basis of the puffer jacket.
The Moncler Puffer Jacket
Streetwear was dominating the fashion scene in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and Moncler’s puffer jacket was at the very core. Moncler is renowned for its luxury and ‘of the time’ outerwear, and the puffer jacket is no exception.
The cost of the puffer jacket reflected Moncler’s luxury nature - it’s a general rule of thumb that a high price tag means high quality. This isn’t always the case, but it certainly is when it comes to Moncler.
The Moncler puffer jacket typically features a Japanese nylon laque that offers superior weather resistance, as well as down-filled, boudin quilting.
This makes the jacket perfect for winter, as the down filling is a super effective insulator. The goose down filling raises the cost, as it’s an effective and luxury item.
The goose down used is typically sourced from white geese and is known for its insulating ability. It’s thought by designers all over the world that goose down is the best quality down in terms of performance and composition.
The yarns and other raw materials used in Moncler puffer jackets also raise the cost, as they are always of brilliant quality that results in a coat that can last for decades.
Most Moncler puffer jackets feature the Moncler logo on the top of the sleeve - however, some will feature the logo on the front of the jacket.
The Puffer Jacket Revival
Before the ‘80s, the puffer jacket was never considered ‘cool’ - it was simply a functional, lightweight jacket that was effective in keeping people warm in the winter.
However, the puffer jacket became the heart of the streetwear scene of the ‘80s and ‘90s and has been a staple piece of any winter wardrobe ever since.
Typically, people wore the puffer jacket over trousers, with most buttons done up. In the ’80s, celebrities and musicians alike all wore the puffer jacket with pride - including the iconic band, the Pet Shop Boys.
In 2021, the general look of the puffer jacket remains the same, but there are extra features. From inside pockets, cropped variations, hoods, and zips - the Moncler puffer jacket is as prominent as ever.