Compatible with the outspoken taste level and aspirations of Asian Millennials – very much its target demographic – Korean eyewear brand Gentle Monster doesn’t do regular retail. As with almost anything linked to Korean youth culture, the merchandise is hugely popular, and the brand is cleverly banking on the momentum by way of striking flagship stores.
Following much-publicized openings in Seoul, Beijing, Hong Kong and New York City, Gentle Monster continues its expansion overseas, and has now set up shop in Shanghai. The flagship store occupies a spacious ground floor space on a tree-lined stretch of Huaihai Zhong Lu, a busy artery in the city’s former French Concession.
Surrounded by boutiques of international high-end brands, the Gentle Monster outpost sits in a category of its own, flaunting a bold interior design that’s an intentional attack on your senses – obviously, in a good way. The design concept, tightly supervised by its creative director Hankook Kim, is loosely inspired by an artisan’s workshop, and features a number of rooms, each with a distinctly different design.
The settings are either functional or merely experiential, but always feature uniquely designed fixtures and furnishings that sets it apart from other Gentle Monster stores. In fact, each of the brand’s outlets flaunts a different design.
The new flagship store icarries the brand’s full range of prescription eyewear and sunglasses, in addition to a selection of collab models with brands such as Hood by Air, Opening Ceremony, and Six Lee.
Design: Hankook Kim
Photography: Gentle monster