MONCLER FW15-16 AN ICELANDIC FAIRYTALE

The Moncler Fall/Winter 2015-16 advertising campaign, narrated with a fairytale inflection, is drawn straight from Nordic sagas and traditional Russian and Slavic folklore. For the second time, the advertising campaign for Moncler will bear the name of outstanding American photographer Annie Leibovitz. The two starring models are brother and sister; in Moncler’s fairytale they are twins, but in real life they are Lucky and Pyper Smith – Lucky is the bass player of the band “The Atomics”, alongside sisters Pyper, Starlie and Daisy.

The Moncler universe has once again opted for a different, innovative angle with this form of communication. It expresses itself through a narrative plot whilst revealing itself through an organic vision of storytelling, immersed in a fairytale, fantasy atmosphere. One image after another, the tale is told as a whole, as opposed to adopting the more usual isolated and concluded frames. An autonomous and articulated branding vocation which places itself well beyond the realm of the classic product campaign.

The references are clear-cut and evocative. In fact they range from atmospheres taken from Tolkien’s great novels to Hans Christian Andersen’s “Snow Queen”, right down to the Russian mythological figure and Slavic heritage of the “Baba Yaga” genre. Moncler embraces the unique approach of the project, seeking a creativity that is unhindered and unlimited. The location in south-eastern Iceland is a breathtaking one. Incredible landscapes, often preserved from any testimony or human intrusion, flow one after another in a stirring display. Then there are breathtaking waterfalls and colossal ice formations, magnificent wind-sculpted rocks, glaciers soaked in light, dazzling, dream-like winter beaches lapped by a sea that is pure metaphysics. The leitmotif throughout is snow and ice. Glassy transparency and snow-white surfaces are at times scattered with the black lava dust that erupts from the many local volcanoes.

The happy ending of the fairy tale is transformed into a sort of exorcism, representing the cathartic thaw of pathos thanks to the inevitable force of love. It occurs with a hint of springtime in the air, with the wind of rebirth blowing amidst nature which is finally reawakening amidst soft moss and blankets of lichen. It is a palette which, leaving behind the countless shades of white underscored by greys and black, feeds off green and brown hues shot through with a liquid, all-enveloping golden light, with a consistency verging on pictorial or cinematographic. A journey for two into the heart of adventure, experienced against a suspended and timeless, almost allegorical backdrop; one that could perhaps be transposed into the realm of dreams. It is another emblematic journey which tackles and assimilates nature, although we quickly realize it is not the stage upon which the events are played out, nor is it designed to act as a mere backdrop for the action. The landscape is entirely given over to the lifeblood of nature and actually plays a leading role. A mutual, heartfelt relationship with nature which has always embodied the Moncler approach.

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Once upon a time, in a timeless time and a placeless place, in galaxies far away, or perhaps near to us – who knows? – there were two very young twins, with hair lighter than the midnight sun and eyes of a clear sky-blue. The two twins, Lucky and Pyper, lived alone and they loved each other very much. They shared such a deep bond and profound affection that they didn’t even need gestures or words to express themselves; they instantly understood one another. Both were dominated by a tireless thirst for adventure, by a desire to see things and put themselves to the test, which grew with each passing day.

Thus it was one crystal-clear winter’s morning, without planning a direction or a destination, they set off to explore unknown terrain. For weeks and weeks, although in all truth nobody really knew how many days, moments or years it took them, they crossed heroic, deserted lands, immense, vast landscapes, passing from monumental castles of leade00n rock to dazzling white enchanted beaches overlooking silent seas, stumbling across volcanoes, black mountains and dazzling glaciers scattered with diamonds of light as they went. Their magical journey for two might just have been a dream, but it seemed never to end. Only the snow and the north wind, laden with indistinguishable sounds, whispers and omens, kept them company. But they were together, and they were happy. That was all that mattered.

One fine day, without realising it, they entered the dark domain of the Ice Queen. Beautiful, haughty and cold, the Ice Queen was starting to tire of her sublime manors laced with ice, and courtiers made up of birds and falcons that could no longer ease her terrible solitude. The intruders who had, unfortunately for them, penetrated the fated thresholds of her kingdom were instantly spotted by her winged guardians, and inevitably aroused her curiosity. The sovereign of the North fell in love with Lucky, with whom she felt an affinity because of his complexion, and the vague, feverish restlessness that possessed him. With her artfulness and enchanting charm, she took possession of his soul, enveloping him in a magical circle which suddenly managed to separate him from his twin, and actually wiped out any recollection of his sister at all.

Pyper was blown away by a terrible snowstorm and she was lost in the vast emptiness. She found herself alone; it was something fearful, a piercing feeling of emptiness she had never felt before. But she did not abandon herself to despair; quite the opposite. She firmly resolved to free her brother from the ice prison. An astonishing white wolf suddenly appeared in front of her and walked alongside her with a protective air. In the meantime, Lucky was slowly beginning to recall his memory. He missed Pyper so much that the feeling gradually worked its way more and more into his clouded mind, triumphantly making its way through his frozen heart.

It was love that vanquished the Queen’s plot, making all her most sophisticated and powerful enchantments quite useless. The twins were reunited – it was a kind of miracle – merely by listening to the echoes of the heart and the suggestions of that immeasurable gift they shared, the rarest and most exquisite treasure of all. With the help of a wise old man they boarded a small, fragile vessel that saved them from the revenge of the Queen, spiriting them away from her glassy kingdom. And from that day onward, they lived happily ever after.

The moral of this story of icy snow and warm emotions? It is this: even the hardest, seemingly impenetrable ice can guard the warmth of the purest form of love. Layers and layers of ice can conceal the secret and harmonious sense of a profound emotive link. One which is worth fighting for, when necessary.

About The Author

Stephane Marquet
Creative Director

First of all, excuse my French! … I was born in the South of France. Lived in Paris for 10 years and travelled the world until I moved to Los Angeles in 2008, because obviously recession was a great time to move to a new country! I also arrived around Halloween and was greeted at the Social Security offices by a nurse who directed to the window Number 6 so a witch could hand me my social security number. Welcome to America. I am a painter, a photographer and the creative director of BELLO mag.

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