Moncler's 'An Invitation To Dream' Milano Centrale Railway Station Activation at Milan Design Week

Jason Papp
May 13, 2024

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Are you ready to dream? Moncler’s ‘An Invitation To Dream’ exhibition will transform Milano Centrale railway station into one of the world’s largest public galleries on April 15th, 2024 during Milan’s Design Week. Milan is home to five Moncler boutiques.

Moncler’s Dreamscape is a project curated by Jefferson Hack, filmed and photographed by Jack Davison. 

Extraordinary Minds Collide

The brand has enlisted some of the most ‘extraordinary minds’ shaping culture today to premiere handmade flat stone artwork: New York Times’ bestselling author Dr. Deepak Chopra, Daniel Arsham of Arsham Studio, internationally acclaimed makeup artist Isamaya Ffrench, renowned Egyptian food inspired artist, Laila Gohar, Tony Award nominated playwright Jeremy O. Harris, British ballet dancer and actress Francesca Hayward, Poet, artist and filmmaker Julianknxx, Chef Ruth Rogers, musician Rina Sawayama recently featured on British Vogue’s legendary cover, South African architect Sumayya Vally, and Brazilian model Zaya.

Poet, artist and filmmaker Julianknxx, photographed by Jack Davison for the exhibition (Image credit: Courtesy of Moncler)

Beyond Fashion

Perhaps most notable about this exhibition by Moncler is that it isn’t about their design vests, raincoats, windbreakers, knitwear, leather goods, and footwear. In fact, ahead of Milan Design Week the luxury brand will showcase large-scale portraits of each of their chosen ‘extraordinary minds’ and quotations below to symbolise the pursuit of dreams turned into reality. 

Jefferson Hack’s well-documented curatorial appetite of hijacking public spaces is continued here. The founder of Dazed Media and project’s creator Hack will, well, hack the billboard and screen-based advertising sites in the train station. Hack will rewire them to create a Dreamscape: a new landscape of images and quotations from the brand’s chosen visionaries. 

Soundtracks of Dreams

The station’s vaulted halls are home to every sound that tells a story. Moncler, here, is tapping into the place where journeys begin and dreams take flight. Atop the clatter of espresso cups, the rustle of newspapers folded, train whistles and rolling wheels are large-scale text pieces and slow-motion portraits. 

Moncler sees these as powerful, silent invocations.

A collection of Jack Davison’s photography which make up the exhibition (Image credit: Courtesy of Moncler)

The brand wants to inspire us or even help us to dream like them.

Ruffini's Vision

“Dreams are what have been moving myself and Moncler forward since day one, because we never stop dreaming about what is possible, and how we can inspire and be inspired by others around the world. Always aiming to not only do new, but to do better,” says Remo Ruffini, Chairman and CEO of Moncler.

Moncler hopes the work will evolve from an observational art piece to a dialogue, in conversation with all who pass through the space, and lasting long after they have left.

The scene of Moncler’s immersive exhibition, Milano’s Centrale railway station is frequented by around 300,000 people everyday. And the luxury band’s ‘An Invitation To Dream’ choice of space is rather fitting. We could say, the city’s station plays home to millions of arrivals and departures into the glorious city, each with new dreams on a journey to turn them into reality.

Jefferson Hack, mentioned earlier, said, “The curated community represents some of the finest creative visionaries across culture who dare to dream for us. They are today’s reality-shapers and they were invited to participate as their work carries with it new hopes and possibilities. It’s the deeply transformative aspects in their work and practice that makes them essential artists of our time and essential for us to bring into this project.” 

Around 30 years older than Moncler, the Milano Centrale railway station first opened its tracks in the early 1930s. It is glorious. A blend of, most notably, Liberty and Art Deco, numerous sculptures feature along the grand corridors. You’ll see the 'incongruous envelope of stone' by Attilio Pracchi dominating the Piazza Duca d'Aosta, for instance. 

Unconventional Spaces

The legacy luxury brand is no stranger to unconventional spaces.

They are adept at harnessing the space’s cultural significance to create impactful brand experiences that surprise and engage. But to achieve this successfully a brand must consider their strategic partnerships.

By collaborating with renowned curator Jefferson Hack and featuring influential cultural figures, Moncler leveraged strategic partnerships to add credibility and authenticity to their activation.

Do you recall what the brand did for its 70th anniversary in 2022? Moncler enlisted 700 dancers, 200 musicians, 100 choir members and 952 models to match a total of when the brand was established -1952.

The spectacular show focused on the reinvention of the Maya jacket, in front of Milan’s Piazza del Duomo. Directed by avant-garde French choreographer Sadeck Berrabah, the show harnessed Berrabah’s limb-centric performances - challenging the generic grace of luxury. Again, a well-chosen strategic partner.  

Alicia Keys was hired to narrate one of their inspiring visual journeys through the peaks that shaped the brand for Moncler 70 | Brand of Extraordinary.

Pushing beyond the conventional high fashion catwalk, Moncler has stayed true to their foundation with this experience at Milano Railway station.

Since its inception in the mountains of Monestier-de-Clermont, the brand has emboldened intrepid explorers to reach the highest peaks and accomplish their dreams. Still today, dreaming remains a driving force behind the brand’s creative power, guiding a journey that continuously pushes beyond any convention. 

A Global Invitation

Following the exhibition in Milan, the story will be extended as part of a global campaign activated to bring ‘An Invitation To Dream’ to a worldwide audience.

Moncler’s brand experience reminds other brand leaders that transformative brand experiences in unexpected locations can deeply engage consumers and leave a lasting impression. 

Moncler effectively used art, not fashion, to convey its brand values of exploration and creativity. Similarly, by focusing on narratives that celebrate your brand’s heritage and emotionally connect with consumers, and by leveraging storytelling it will be a powerful tool to communicate brand identity and purpose to sell ‘the thing’.

Moncler's plan to extend the activation into a global campaign underscores the importance of scalability and reach in marketing initiatives.

Authenticity in Expansion

One thing I will be intrigued by is how well Moncler manages to hold the authenticity of the campaign beyond Milan. Intrinsic is an engaged Moncler team that are ready to share well-written, well-timed stories on their socials, and the right influencers on the ground sharing their experiences with the exhibitions.  

Will the brand alter aspects of localised marketing alongside the campaign to respect each cultural nuance on the road? 

Ultimately, we’ll do well to consider how successful local activations have been extended or adapted to resonate with broader international audiences, leveraging momentum to maximise campaign impact and brand exposure.

When was the last time your agencies looked beyond your brand’s heritage to build legacy into your next campaign? 

The exhibition is open to the public and will run from 15th April to 21st April during The Milan Design Week.

By deftly forging art, culture, and personal stories together, Moncler's 'An Invitation To Dream' transforms Milan's iconic Centrale station into a parade of imagination, mirroring the monochromatic elegance and curated solitude of the brand's CEO, Remo Ruffini.

Amongst the backdrop of Milan Design Week, this Moncler activation heralds their financial health, marked by a 22% surge in D2C sales to €2,163,920 and an overall 17% leap in revenue for 2023.

The initiative transcends mere exhibition, embodying a sophisticated narrative of heritage, strategic alliances, and storytelling that not only enchants and engages but also solidifies the bottom line and cultural relevance.

Jason Papp
Founder & Editor-in-chief