From the Mountain to the City: Exploration Meets Inspiration in a Campaign that Pushes the Boundaries of Co-Creation
Designed for exploration, Moncler and adidas Originals’ new collection pushes the boundaries of co-creation as the two iconic brands find inspiration in the journey from mountainous peaks to the city below. Moncler’s mountain birthplace meets the metropolitan base of adidas Originals as a selection of forward-thinking designs advance the notion that function creates unlimited potential for discovery. On both sides of the collaboration, the function has the form: adidas Originals has been changing the shape of city sportswear since 2001, and Moncler has continuously redefined innovation for exploring the great outdoors since its first mountain expedition in 1952.
The campaign, titled The Art of Explorers, turns its attention to explorers themselves. With human endeavor a core ideal of both brands, the explorer steps into the spotlight as a shared figurehead, represented first through a series of AI-generated adventurers, and then through a collection of unique mixed-media sculptures. Offering nods to both brands, the campaign tagline Where Originality Meets Extraordinary speaks to Moncler’s positioning as a longstanding performance and utility innovator and adidas Originals’ enduring legacy as a champion of culture and creativity, spreading influence from an epicenter peak to cities around the world.
Building on The Art of Genius show that first unveiled the collaboration at London Fashion Week in February, artists from diverse fields – from sculpture to costume, set design to make-up – were challenged to create human-esque explorers inspired by looks from the collection. Sculptures by Gary Card, Ibby Njoya, and Kate Tabor, alongside real-life explorers in looks styled by Ai Kamoshita, with make-up and accessories by Isamaya Ffrench, were brought to life by photographer Hanna Moon.
Inspired by an explorative journey from the summit to the city, the new collection unveils puffers, both long and short, as well as track jackets and vests that epitomize the intersection of two identities. Signature Moncler shapes in iconic lacquered nylon are reimagined through adidas original details, including adi-break paneling. A mix of luminous colors recalls traffic lights in greens, oranges, and reds, before oscillating between concrete gray and sky blue, via off-white and organic dark greens. Sinuous quilting, jacquard, and prints take inspiration from patterns created by skiers on snow-covered slopes.
Bold footwear grounds the looks: the NMD has been Moncler-ized and given a winter makeover in GORE-TEX, puffed up by bubble padding. The iconic Campus has also been cocooned in bubble padding for an augmented Moncler feel. Form and function meet at the intersection of outdoor mountain life and city streets: a new meeting of worlds, made for exploring.
Moncler was founded at Monestier-de-Clermont, Grenoble, France, in 1952 and is currently headquartered in Italy. Over the years the brand has combined style with constant technological research assisted by experts in activities linked to the world of the mountain. The Moncler outerwear collections marry the extreme demands of nature with those of city life. Moncler manufactures and directly distributes the clothing and accessories collections under the brand Moncler through directly operated physical and digital stores as well as selected multi-brand doors, department stores, and e-tailers.
About adidas Originals
Inspired by the rich sporting heritage of adidas – one of the world’s leading sports brands and a global designer and developer of athletic footwear and apparel – adidas Originals is a lifestyle brand founded in 2001. With the adidas archive at its foundation, adidas Originals continues to evolve the brand’s legacy through its commitment to product innovation and its ability to filter the creativity and courage found on courts and sporting arenas through the lens of contemporary youth culture. Marked by the iconic Trefoil logo that was first used in 1972 and championed by those that continue to shape and define creative culture, adidas Originals continues to lead the way as the pioneering sportswear brand for the street.
Gary Card, Sculptor and Set Designer
‘Original is the foundation, Extraordinary is an aspiration. Often these two concepts don’t meet but it’s a goal I strive for.’
British artist Gary Card uses color and humor to build psychedelic dream worlds for the fashion industry. The multi-disciplinarian created an exaggerated human form for Moncler x adidas Originals, using their iconic codes – mountain puffer shapes, three stripes – to build a new explorer.
‘I designed the figure to be lumbering and imposing, yet with a soft and friendly feel, a faithful puffer warrior companion maybe. So, when they stood side by side it would feel like a distorted mirror version of the Moncler look. As these two characters belonged to each other, I imagined them going on adventures, wading through snow in the Italian Alps together.’
Ibby Njoya, Artist and Set Designer
‘Art is a living organism that relies on the environment, culture, and the dreams of the community to survive, and so as the occupants of this environment we are forced to explore its limitations.’
British-Cameroonian artist Ibby Njoya is a creative polymath who uses his experience as a painter and illustrator to bend reality into exuberant new settings for fashion’s most luminous editorials, shows, and installations.
‘I was inspired by the collection itself, but I wanted to bring myself into the sculpture. I really loved the way the neck of the puffer was very prominent and almost looked to me like rings. I have always been fascinated by the copper neck rings from the Ndebele tribe and the Kayan tribe, how extending the neck can place such importance on the head itself.’
Kate Tabor, Costume Designer
‘I think a lot of the core design traits of Moncler and adidas Originals and my own work are actually quite similar. There is a boldness and a desire to push boundaries that we share.’
British designer and maker Kate Tabor has brought her singular vision to the worlds of music, fashion, and art. Kate leverages her curiosity and understanding of materials – foam, mirror, silk, hair – into one-of-a-kind statements of human kinetics and form.
‘I think I’ve created a sculpture that itself looks like an explorer with mirrored armor, ready to face the elements, or maybe ready to face the art world, expanding what can be considered art by bringing together the commercial and the avant-garde.’
Isamaya Ffrench, Make-up Artist
‘Exploration is vital for me. I never see the point of doing something that doesn’t feel new, or that doesn’t have a fresh perspective on a subject.’
Envisioning make-up as a form of wearable art, British beauty pioneer Isamaya Ffrench has redrawn the rules one stroke at a time to become a globally renowned name in cosmetic artistry, working across the world’s most high-profile brands and faces, and launching her eponymous cult brand.
‘The whole concept of the campaign was to create avatars inspired by the clothes from the collection. The shapes, colors, and textures were created by using transparent plastic vacuum-formed masks, airbrushed colors and reflective materials.’
Ai Kamoshita, Stylist
London-based stylist Ai Kamoshita approaches her work by looking at form, shape, and careful layering. Treating garments as though they were sculptures, her work is heavily referenced by her research into different artistic worlds of expression.
Hanna Moon, Photographer
South Korean-born, London-based photographer Hanna Moon brings a unique and distinctive eye to image making, a curated approach that draws just as much from the traditional as from the contemporary.
‘The concept was very philosophical to me, finding beauty in real things like sculptures, model’s movements, or in-between moments. It made me think about where we are now and what’s happening to our creativity with the new technology. The shoot was beyond just photographing the collection, it made me think of the present/future of our industry and cherish the human endeavor more.’
Shiori Takahashi, Hair Stylist
Born and raised in Hokkaido, Japan, trailblazing hairstylist Shiori Takahashi relocated to London before working alongside some of the most globally recognized publications, brands, and talents.
‘I was excited by the concept of creating avatars inspired by the clothes from the collection. I approached each hair look individually, focusing on shapes, texture, and colors to bring out the uniqueness of each avatar. By doing so, we created a look that connected the real world and the AI world.’