If you missed Moncler’s Trailgrip drop a couple of months ago, you must have been living under a rock. The anticipated shoe caused some serious noise in the sneaker scene — and with good reason.
With one foot in the fashion world and the other in the great outdoors (literally), Moncler never disappoints in delivering outrageously cool luxury-hiking hybrid silhouettes. With a Vibram MEGAGRIP rubber compound, a gorpcore-inspired GORE-TEX waterproof membrane, and a molded TPU spoiler, the Trailgrip is made for tricky terrains and stylish soirées. Coming in a variety of new, bold colorways like black and neon pink and green and aqua blue, the tough trainer is made to make a statement. Oh, and don’t forget that design genius Salehe Bemebury left his fingerprints (again, literally) all over the Trailgrip Grain for an exclusive collab on the Moncler ēquipments collection.
Moncler is always pushing the boundaries of what a sneaker can look like and what purpose it serves. We’ve seen the Trailgrip transformed into a 3D print thanks to Zellerfeld and reworked through the eyes of Bembury, but now it’s time to follow in the brand’s creative footsteps and look at the shoe through the minds of two of our favorite visionaries. Each with their own special interpretation of how to see and style the shoe, meet Gozzilah and Bleu Mode.
Kyo aka Gozzilah
There is absolutely no point in me trying to describe what Kyo does, so you might as well hear it from the man himself. It’s safe to say his work is like nothing we’ve seen before (check out his IG for more proof of this).
So, Kyo, tell me a bit about your creative practice, as it’s pretty different from stuff we normally see.
My creative process starts by asking myself the true purpose of a garment or object. This, and the resulting shape, enables me to reinterpret them into a creature or a singular being. During this transformation process, I let my personal references dictate my vision of the final result.
How did you get into it, and what made you start creating work like this?
To have been involved for many years in a variety of creative projects made me want to fully express my vision without any barriers or restraints that you normally have to deal with in commercial work. The outdoors is my passion, and design is another. Merging them together with my own rules was the beginning of Gozzilah.
What is your philosophy?
Authenticity, strong vision, and clear storytelling! Besides that, it all starts by using the products personally so that I can feel them, approve their capabilities, and find their strengths and weaknesses. The core purpose of doing so allows me to create an authentic, unbiased, creative concept that is built around my IRL experience. I feel that when you personally involve yourself through your work, the creative outcome will always be more effective and original.
How do you put together the fits we see on your IG?
My process of combining my outfits is pretty straightforward; once I receive the different outfits, I hang them in my workshop, where I can observe them and get accustomed to their presence. After some time, I take them out with me when I go for a hike, climb, or any other outdoor activity that I have planned. Combining those two phases allows me to start imagining the different ways of being able to assemble them all together as one. When I start to build the key visual, my inspirations, such as science fiction, astronomy, mythology, animation, designs, etc., influence the final result.
Why do you feel you connect with Moncler as a brand when it comes to creative practice and identity?
Lately, their recent branding and questioning of how mountaineering is evolving echo my core beliefs. Nathan VanHook, with all his work at ACG, is a pioneer in modern outdoor aesthetics. His move to Moncler is super exciting! Mr. Green, Mr. Anderson, and Mr. Bembury’s recent collaborations just confirm Moncler’s taste for sharp designs and clear storytelling.
What about the design of these shoes resonates most with your practice/your style?
VanHook’s ability to merge functionality and shape is what really blows my mind. A shoe that mixes all the technical requirements and styles for our outdoor practices is what users are looking for.
How did you go about creating the set-up of these images with the shoe?
The scorpion composition is inspired by the sole of the shoes and the different technical parts of it. Its shape, curves, and angles made me create this holistic vision of a pink scorpion, a hallucinatory image, appearing in the mind of an exhausted mountaineer in the middle of Saturn’s mountains.
Describe your sneaker style in three words.
Function, shape, durability.
When you look at the Trailgrip, what comes to mind?
A sea horse’s head, a mountain scorpion, and the chiseled sole looks like an animal’s mane.
How would you style this sneaker, and where would you wear it?
I would style this pair with baggy utility shorts and high socks, probably on a trail between the city and the mountains!
Julien Boudet aka Bleu Mode
From fashion to cars and the great outdoors, Boudet is a household name for us when it comes to striking visuals that transport you to a whole new territory — and what he’s done with Moncler’s Trailgrip is no different.
Julien, what’s something about you or your practice that people don’t know?
I guess most people know me mainly as a photographer, but I also do sculptures and installations, consulting, and designing capsules with brands — my work goes beyond photography.
Describe your style in three words.
Sportswear, chic, comfortable.
When you think of Moncler, what comes to mind first?
I think directly of the mountain and the snow.
Describe your photography aesthetic to us. Did the Trailgrip align with this?
It’s pretty raw, authentic, and edgy, so the Trailgrip definitely worked with this in the sense that it’s a sneaker that is super comfortable and fashionable at the same time.
Normally, you are the one behind the camera, so how do you feel being in front of it this time?
It’s always fun to be in front of the camera as well, but I still prefer to be behind, to be honest!
Talk to us about the work you’ve done here. How did the Trailgrip inspire the composition and set-up behind your images?
My idea was to find a background that matches this sneaker’s colorway and to capture the sneakers in action, doing a wheelie with my scooter in my hometown. It was mainly to focus on the sports aspect of the shoes because we get the luxury touch as soon as we see them, but we don’t know how comfortable they really are.
For objects like sneakers, how do you approach capturing them on camera as opposed to people?
For this kind of object, as I was saying earlier, I like to catch them in action; for me, it’s more interesting as it adds something more than doing just a still-life shot, which is not really my style.
What do you think of the crossover between luxury brands/fashion and outerwear?
I think it’s fascinating to see how far these collaborations between luxury brands and outerwear have gone, especially in the past few years. Moncler is definitely one of the best brands for outerwear, and I believe it will stay that way for a while. Their collaborations are always on point.
What about this Trailgrip do you love the most?
For me, it’s the sole; it’s super different from all the sneakers I own.
How would you style this sneaker, and where would you wear it?
I would wear them with a grey suit, in order to make them stand out even more.
Shop the Moncler Trailgrip on the Highsnobiety Shop and moncler.com