2 MONCLER 1952 is a lifestyle imprint of the French outerwear manufacturer that fully embraces subculture and its power to make hard-wearing coats and recognizable logos into quietly powerful objects of desire. Case in point? A collection inspired by 1980s Italian paninaros, a group of clotheshorses equally obsessed with motorcycle horsepower and obscenely strong espresso.
For MONCLER 1952 menswear designer Sergio Zambon, ideas about layering and crossover made him think about the meta nature of street culture and Moncler's place in it. He discovered Angelo Baque's Awake NY label at Slam Jam, the famous Milanese showroom/boutique-turned label incubator founded by OG Stüssy tribe member Luca Benini.
Immediately Zambon found himself drawn to Baque's sense of color and use of prints, like the checkerboard trench coat featuring images of the Twin Towers and Taj Mahal from Awake NY's Spring 2019 collection, or the wonderfully executed Awake NY x Asics GEL-Kayano 5 360 inspired by the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows.
“In a way we are both about realness, what people are wearing nowadays,” says Zambon. He reached out to Baque over a year ago to see if he'd be interested in participating in the program. Of course, Baque agreed. He saw it as a platform to further represent his city and in a way, his constituency of young kids who look up to him and his label.
“What I bring to the table is a NYC point of view and perspective,” says Baque. “When I was working on this collab, I was listening to A Boogie. I knew the kid that I wanted to see wearing this collab was the kid that lived in The Bronx, Brooklyn or Queens.”
That's why one of the standout pieces in the collection is the teal puffy vest, a transitional style staple seen often on NYC's eclectically stylish streets — many times accented with a Yankee cap and wheat 6-inch Timbs for full effect. Baque wanted to work on silhouettes that had their own timeless sensibility, and the perennially casual New York sportswear look lends itself well to Moncler's archives. Zambon chose what he felt were “iconic pieces from both sides,” ultimately feeling like he and Baque's tendencies met in the middle to create a new, mutual foundation for the two brands.
Further, Awake NY tapped some of NYC's best, brightest, and most stylish to model the new collaboration, including photographer Mario Sorrenti, Ghetto Gastro's Jon Gray, Ian Isiah, Richie Shazam, and Maluca Mala. The Awake NY x 2 MONCLER 1952 collaboration is available now at Moncler and Awake.