When one thinks of Moncler these days, its often that two things come to mind. One, the collaborative efforts that drop on an almost monthly basis with some of the biggest names in fashion and pop culture; and two, those highly dependable (and sought after) down jackets.
But it is Moncler Grenoble that propelled the brand into what it is today. Moncler's super technical and professional pillar, Moncler Grenoble is named after the French city where the 1968 Winter Olympics was held. Moncler officially kitted the French downhill team, and needless to say, the team pretty much dominated that category for that edition of the Games.
Over the years, Moncler Grenoble has evolved while staying true to its aim of creating superior skiwear with a host of technical capabilities. The line now includes both men's and women's collections that offer après-ski options as well as professional-level skiwear—all designed with Moncler's contemporary aesthetics with nods to its heritage. The latest iteration (55 years since it was first conceived) is a fine example of this endeavour.
Punctuated with bold colours, the Moncler Grenoble Autumn/Winter 2023 collection amps up its High Performance subdivision with nifty design elements such as ski pass pockets, GORE-TEX fabrications, and heat-sealed laser-cut zipper patches. The Après Ski line consists of tactile knits, while the less technical (but still ski-appropriate) Performance & Style line feature pieces that are easily transitional. And because form and function are key tenets of all things Moncler in general, the entire Moncler Grenoble collection is meant to be seamlessly paired with one another.
The latest campaign stars a quartet of Moncler Grenoble ambassadors: Cai Xuetong, Perrine Laffont, Shaun White, and Richard Permin. All ski stars in their own right, the campaign captures them in their skilled element, all while displaying the high performance and style of the collection.
French skier Permin's journey is much like Moncler Grenoble's—a natural evolution and progression built from an undying passion for the sport. And as we learn from the man himself, a love for where it all started.
ESQUIRE SINGAPORE: You’ve worked with Moncler for a couple of years now. How is this partnership different perhaps from that you’ve experienced with other brands?
RICHARD PERMIN: Working with Moncler has been a fantastic experience for the past couple of years. What sets this partnership apart is the brand's commitment to pushing the boundaries of style and performance. Moncler's fusion of high-quality materials with innovative designs aligns seamlessly with my vision, allowing me to express myself athletically and aesthetically. The collaborative spirit and emphasis on excellence make this partnership truly unique in enhancing both my skiing performance and personal style.
ESQ: What’s one thing about the latest Moncler Grenoble collection you think avid skiers would appreciate?
RP: The latest Moncler Grenoble collection is stunning, especially the entire GORE-TEX range. I'm particularly loving the Montgirod jacket—for its incredibly stylish design, and the GORE-TEX membrane that adds another level of quality and durability to the product. The collection has got a bit of everything for every style, whether it's on the slopes or in freeride. Personally, I rock the GORE-TEX line daily in the mountains—walking, hiking, skiing, it's my go-to.
ESQ: The kind of skiing that you’ve pioneered is a combination of showmanship and technical skill. How do you prepare for these acrobatic feats? Is it a lot of trials and experimentations or have you done things in the spur of the moment?
RP: I've gotta give credit to the journey, you know? Started from alpine, grooved through freestyle and freeride, and here I am, merging experience and style. Training's a mix of reps, getting cozy with the mountain vibes year after year. It lets me level up in the mountains, keeping that cool, calm vibe but safety always riding shotgun. Because, you know, safety's the MVP in this game.
ESQ: What is it about skiing that gets you still passionate about it?
RP: Skiing's my grind, where freedom meets challenges, and the stoke never fades. Lately, I'm deep into video projects, rolling with the crew, and it's not just a job—it's the mountain passion on repeat, fuelled by determination and the love for the game and to be out there.
ESQ: How did you get into filmmaking?
RP: Getting into filmmaking for me is a natural extension of freeride skiing. Competitions are part of the sport, but when you're navigating uncharted terrains, films become integral. They've always been a key aspect of freeride skiing, enabling us to showcase the level each year. We operate in secluded areas where there's no audience, so films become the medium to share the experience. From the start, it fascinated me, and I prioritised capturing beautiful visuals even more than winning medals. It's ingrained in the culture—a way to share the passion and elevate the sport.
ESQ: What challenges have you faced in your career and how did you solve it?
RP: The biggest challenges in my career have been injuries, which typically demand a substantial recovery period. Additionally, conceptualising projects might seem great on paper, but executing them in reality is often far more complicated. So, these are challenges that you solve on the field and require a significant amount of time and patience.
ESQ: How does one become a good skier?
RP: Shred like a pro, swap walking time for ski time. It's all about sliding, not striding!
ESQ: Where’s your favourite place to ski thus far?
RP: Europe holds a special place since it's where I began, and then there's the love for British Columbia, Alaska, and Japan.
ESQ: What is your future plan and target?
RP: I've got some exciting travels lined up—Japan, Georgia, and Norway. As for target: it's all about snow conditions and terrain, so there's a lot of on-the-spot improvisation. The charm lies in the unpredictability—you never know what you'll encounter, and that's where imagination kicks in.
The Moncler Grenoble Autumn/Winter 2023 collection is available now on moncler.com and in select Moncler boutiques.