The Distinctive Jacket That’s Leaving Moncler Coats Out in the Cold

— Now that the Moncler coat—once a status symbol has become the choice of the bundled-up masses, shivering stylish guys are pulling on new-breed puffers

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EARLIER THIS FALL, with the deep freeze of winter on the horizon, James Ralston took a radical step: He gave away his Moncler coat, a big-ticket item he’d purchased just three years earlier. “I was over it,” explained Mr. Ralston, 25, a merchandise coordinator in New York City. “I like to wear things that are unique, and the Moncler coat at this point is just extremely run-of-the-mill.”

Though Mr. Ralston’s relegation of his pricey coat to the donation bin might seem reckless, each year as the cold fronts rush in, so too do crowds of men and women in those dark, thigh-length cheap Moncler coats. We’ve all seen them, often in classic black, with a coyote-fur-trimmed hood and an unmistakable circular red badge on the arm or across the pocket, as ubiquitous as Filson bags.

While Moncler (originally known as Metro Sportswear) has been around since 1957, its sales have increased by a staggering 450% since 2011. Priced up to $1,500, the rugged-sleek coats, which can make one feel a bit like Hillary ready to scale Everest, became a winter status symbol. Kate Upton wore one on Sports Illustrated’s cover in 2013, and celebs such as Andrew Garfield and Jimmy Fallon have been spotted with their hoods a-flying in Manhattan.

F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal, Styling by Anne Cardenas Puffy Jacket Moncler Published Credit: F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal, Styling by Anne Cardenas
Moncler Clamart Jacket, $1,525, Monclerjacketsoutlet.co.uk

Stylish guys who feel ambivalent about the Moncler phenomenon face a conundrum: How do you stand out from the cocooned flock without being left out in the cold? The company is doing its part to innovate and keep its designs fresh. This month, New York boutique Opening Ceremony will roll out a flamboyant paisley-print Moncler mini-collection, and coolly deconstructed pieces from the Canadian label’s collaboration with buzzy brand-of-the-moment Vetements will also soon be available.

Mr. Ralston, though, has confidently moved on to an icy gray puffer jacket by British label J.W. Anderson. “It fills the same need as the Moncler,” he said, but with far more distinction. Mr. Ralston’s new jacket meets a set of stylish criteria: It’s noticeably inflated, some would say beefy; it’s cut sharply to waist-length; its quilting is deep and conspicuous; and its color is what you might call “interesting.”

Such showy puffers even made an appearance on rarefied Parisian catwalks for fall 2017, popping up at Raf Simons in massive, Michelin-Man proportions; at Dior Homme in a moody, monochrome floral motif; and at Ami, with stacked, bubbly quilts. The message is clear: When it comes to current fashion cred, an amped-up puffer jacket packs a level of panache that a see-it-coming-and-going knee-length coat can’t deliver. Rather than swallow you up from shoulders to shins, a lively puffer acts as an exclamation point atop a winter look, be it a navy wool suit or a cashmere cable knit and jeans.

“Moncler is more about function over fashion,” said Rob Sills, the buyer at Hirshleifers, a posh department store in Manhasset, N.Y. Mr. Sills sees no problem with Moncler coats outlet from a practical standpoint, but he steers style-minded customers toward lighter, sportier Moncler puffers in a range of poppy shades.

Justin Dean, the men’s buyer at Kith in New York City, favors similar styles. “A puffer is fun and feels youthful in a way that a traditional coat just doesn’t.” For this season, Mr. Dean is fond of the throwback look of a dusty yellow puffer (a la the Uniqlo number below), which harks back to the overstuffed Nautica coats of the 1990s. Some of the retro puffers even have a glossy texture. It’s not for everyone, but for a grown up Beastie Boy, it may be just the thing.

Mr. Ralston said he loves how the pumped-up look of his J.W. Anderson puffer ensures he’s not just another goose in the flock: “I’m sure I’m not going to see anybody with the same jacket.” All that style, of course, would be for naught if the puff were pure fluff. Not to worry, said Mr. Dean, “You don’t need to cover your entire body with a jacket to stay warm.” What you do need are those down feathers to keep your core toasty. As Mr. Ralston said of his jacket, “It’s literally stuffed to the gills.”

Moncler Outlet: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

Moncler, the Italian-based luxury down jackets manufacturer, will soon celebrate its third year since its IPO on the Milan Stock Exchange with a sweet performance of +4% while the Dow Jones Luxury Index is down -22% since December 2013. We believe the company is still relatively small compared to its peers and we expect the brand to remain among the top fast-growing luxury companies.

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The company was founded in 1952 by two French entrepreneurs from Monestier-de-Clermont, which is the origin of the name Moncler, at a time when winter holidays were democratizing. The brand was mostly known in France until 2003 when Remo Ruffini, current chairman and CEO, acquired the company with his vision as a creative director to make it a global luxury player. Moncler successfully launched Haute Couture collections exclusively made in Italy or France, which became a trendsetter in the fashion industry such as the Paris Fashion Week, attracting a large and wide customer base. Today, Moncler outlet has the biggest market share in high-end down jackets, which gives the brand flexibility on pricing hence margins and product innovation. Italian competitor Erno is also positioned in the same niche but its size and footprint is substantially smaller, VF Corporation could be considered a competitor but the product positioning is not comparable. The company is active in 70 countries with more than 180 mono-brand boutiques, including the recent opening of flagship stores in London, New York and Seoul. The rapid expansion of the retail network since 2013, from 57% to 71% of net revenues, means higher costs that are fortunately offset by higher EBITDA margins and the privilege of not diluting the brand equity, which is crucial for Moncler outlet online. In fact, this fast-growing brand has taken concrete measures to stay recognizable but also discrete as it is facing the same threats as fashion companies that are seen everywhere and fear to become ubiquitous.

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Moncler shares should benefit from the positive buzz after the fashion shows in Milan and Paris. Indeed, Moncler Outlet Spring/Summer 2017 Fashion Week was important to promote its identity and elevate its image. The Freeze for Frieze operation, which promoted young contemporary artists and designers, was a clever move to show the desire for trends disruption and freedom of creation that Remo Ruffini has brought to the brand. These initiatives will increase the audience and reputation of the company among fashion and luxury influencers. Another external factor that should positively impact the top line, the colder-than-usual weather in Europe (50% of net sales) during October, which is forecasted to continue at least beginning of November. Being focused on winter fashion makes the brand highly dependent on the weather conditions, which tend to be abnormal in recent years. The diversification into Spring/Summer items is a good strategy but outside of Moncler’s DNA and above all, a lower margin business.

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Throughout its mono-brand stores, Moncler generates €30,000 per square meter, which is one of the highest rate in the industry after LVMH. The company’s geographic breakdown is well diversified with Asia/RoW representing about 1/3 of revenues, so approximately €350 million in sales, which is still a small number when taking into account the strong potential of the brand in the region. Americas represent only 12% of sales, the new flagship in New York (its largest worldwide boutique) should further boost local sales as the region is still under-represented with 15 mono-brand stores compared to the quality and quantity of ski resorts available in the country as well as the Latin American clientele who enjoys shopping in Miami for tax reasons. The product assortment has been reviewed to offer accessories or other winter items in the middle of down jackets. Moncler has launched an efficient internal counterfeiting tool which enables the company to trace each item to avoid wholesale dealers selling on the grey market and tarnishing the brand image with items that are discounted. Moncler has allowed some wholesalers in the US to discount some down jackets collections due to the mild weather last year; however, these items were dedicated to the wholesale channel and not available in retail stores.

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Moncler has been able to grow sales by double digits +19% (at constant exchange rates) to reach €880 million at the end of 2016. However, we noticed a slowdown in same-store sales growth, which decreased from +8% in 2014 to +6% in 2016. If we look at the last 12 months, revenues recorded at €931 million, inventory increasing at a slightly faster pace than sales in the last four years. The recent acquisition of a production site in Romania for an industrial technological R&D hub for down jackets and to further integrate vertically should help cheap Moncler sale increase its gross margin, which is currently at 74%. EBITDA margins of 32.8% are hard to beat. After topping 34% in 2012, we are skeptical in the company’s ability to improve margins. Nevertheless we appreciate its strong pricing power in a deflationary environment, thanks to its culture of thinking “outside the box”. Profitability ratios are very encouraging with ROA at 17%, ROE 31% and ROCE 33% while net debt has substantially decreased from €230 million in 2012 to €85 million in 2016 thanks to an improved free cash flow level. The company has increased its capital expenditures by 10% to €75 million in 2016 to finance the new store openings internationally but still pays stakeholders a 1.20% dividend. In an Italian stock market that is down -23% with a constitutional referendum to come in December, Moncler share price is up 15% year to date. Strong top-line growth is anticipated, so you are paying 30 times sales but we are confident the company will be able to sustain high profit margins so we believe we should focus on profitability multiples with EV/EBITDA at only 5.60x. Valuations are attractive; even if you look at the average earnings of the last three years, you are paying 15 times EPS, taking into consideration that Moncler outlet uk has grown rapidly. You are paying 1.6 times the earnings growth, which is more than acceptable for the luxury industry. We have heard several M&A rumors these last couple weeks in the fashion industry with Coach looking at Burberry and Phillips-Van Heusen potentially interested in Michael Kors. We believe Moncler could be a takeover target by European luxury groups as it’s approaching the billion euro sales threshold with a robust balance sheet and after demonstrating its ability to perform throughout the years in a business that is highly seasonal. The 6% disposal of Eurazeo shares in Moncler last September could be a takeover opportunity as the free float is now above 50%, which is tempting for an acquirer who is looking for a company that “Goes fast but with no hurry”.

Moncler Jackets: What to wear skiing on the slopes

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Perfect Moment skiwear

Style and substance: can the two co-exist in skiwear? Not so long ago, it was an either-or situation: either look like a Bond girl at the risk of hypothermia (and you thought a smooth-talking spy was the biggest hazard) or go for technical gear that wasn’t terribly sexy, but did the job.

Thankfully, the two aren’t so mutually exclusive any more. The kit is constantly being tweaked for the better on both fronts, and there’s now more choice than ever – which makes shopping for it doubly fun. Moncler has been instrumental in fashioning tech-specs into elegant designs (so elegant that their jackets have become the ultimate city staples in winter). The upmarket label has boutiques at some of the world’s swankiest ski resorts including Courchevel, Zermatt and Chamonix, catering for über-discerning customers.

There are others, too: Bogner (fabulous coloured jackets), M Miller (one of the sleekest ski labels around) and Stella McCartney, who has made designer skiwear accessible with her long-running partnership with adidas, are a few highlights.

If you’re heading to the slopes for the first or fortieth time this winter, our guide will have everything you need to know about what to pack – and why. Because having a soggy bum from a jacket without a snow skirt (all will be explained below) is the last thing you need…

How to choose the right ski jacket

It’ll be the hardest working piece of your gear, so your jacket needs to be technically spot on: as it’s nippy, it needs to be warm and windproof; if you fall, it needs to be waterproof. It should also be light and breathable, because you’ll get sweaty racing around on the slopes.

Attention to detail counts for everything. Every jacket should have a snow skirt – a width of waterproof fabric that buttons up around the waist and keeps the cheap moncler jackets secure so snow doesn’t go up your back if you fall over. Pockets are crucial: a zippered one on the wrist arm means you have somewhere to tuck that pesky ski pass; inner pockets are handy for sunglasses or phones. Cuff seals – basically wrist warmers with thumb loops – will act as another barrier to the cold, and waterproof zips are a saving grace.

Moncler’s supremely chic jackets from Grenoble, its specialist ski range, are the dream here because they have all these features and many boast figure-flattering nipped waists.

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Marinet jacket, £90, Moncler

More affordable but no less technical are adidas by Stella McCartney’s ski jackets. Some have in-built Recco, a reflector chip which allows search teams to locate you if you get buried.