Gentle Monster

Cult Korean eyewear brand Gentle Monster, create in-store installations which transcend all preconceived expectations Visitors can immerse themselves the brand aesthetic in dramatic totality. Gentle Monster creates worlds of texture, encapsulating alternative realities which affect sensibilities beyond the visual.

The question of how to increase attraction and traffic toward flagships is an open one. However, Cult Korean eyewear brand Gentle Monster have recognised this phenomenon as an opportunity for creativity and innovation, rather than cause for despair. Their progressive, hyper-modern eyewear designs are mirrored and amplified in their approach to the retail space.

Their Singapore flagship, for example, is an interpretation of Nietzsche’s “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”, confronting men’s “desire to break free from the inescapable wheel of life”. Another flagship in Hongdae, Seoul, is a rumination on the wonders of the sense of smell via artworks reminiscent of Juan Miró’s mobiles. It features a series of works, rooms and objects which are studies of various scents, “in search for the perfect natural aroma”. The Chengdu, China, flagship tackles the creation of a post-apocalyptic world, while the flagship in Sinsa, Seoul illustrates the laws of entropy. Despite a loftiness of intention and impeccable curation, there’s a playfulness to Gentle Monster’s installations which makes the artworks digestible. The Daegu, South Korea flagship, disguised as a laundromat, is only half of what they call their [secret neighbors] campaign, promoted only through vague pieces of video art which contain clues about the flagship location. The variety of installation themes and concepts allows Gentle Monster to acknowledge a diverse range of artistic inspiration. It pays homage to the greats who paved the way for contemporary installation— notably Vladimir Tatlin, James Turrel, Donald Judd, and Yves Klein— by reinterpreting their immense contributions through a distinctly Korean lens.

Gentle Monster continue to push the boundaries of the brick-and-mortal retail space, providing shoppers with thought-provoking, sensory experiences.