Stepping into any one of Gentle Monster’s four locations is like a visit to MOMA’s hot exhibition du jour. It’s not simply a place to view sunglasses – they’re the pay-off at the end of a series of sensory experiences. Owner Kim Han Kook is quietly shaking the foundations of sunglass fashion with his vision to showcase his brand in a way that shocks the senses.
Most of the concepts are a collision of new world and old: The Bathhouse, The Kitchen, Quantum, The New Island (video above). One almost misses the presence of sunglasses upon entering as the eyes need time to adjust to the unique environment but they are no doubt the stars of the exhibition.
So, on to the sunglasses, just like the space in which they are displayed, Gentle Monster’s designs are familiar yet not and tend to make you look at your current sunglass collection with disappointment. For example, their horn rimmed glasses could actually have horns. And some have messages like, “Make you fucking gorgeous”. A bold claim for a bold brand.
If that isn’t enough to get you there, what put Gentle Monster on the map was a Korean drama called “My Love from Another Star” about an alien who lands on Earth and falls in love with Korea’s hottest actress. No wonder being gentle on the eyes seems to be a common theme here.