Gentle Monster


Gentle Monster

All Photos Shot for Gentle Monster
Teams Credits Directed by Florence Tétier / Photographed by Nicolas Coulomb / Styled by Georgia Pendlebury

Words by Katie Farley

Originally established in 2011, Gentle Monster is a South Korean luxury eyewear brand. Founded by former English teacher Hankook Kim, together with Jae W Oh, the label is stylishly defined by its experimental and unique, boundary-pushing designs that are the perfect fit for every face. With creativity, technology, and purity of design being the house’s philosophy, Gentle Monster proposes an avant-garde take on contemporary eyewear innovation.

They can thank South Korean actress Gianna Jun for the brand’s original success, which elevated to new heights after she stepped out wearing a pair of their sunglasses in the popular drama “My Love from the Star”. Since then, Gentle Monster’s status has soared, particularly throughout South Korea, China and most recently, amid the United States. With many artistic collaborations from actress Tilda Swinton to influencer Amiee Song and brands, such as Hood by Air and Henrik Vibskov, Gentle Monster is not only keeping Korean fashion firmly on the map, they are additionally expanding their name to an international clientele.

Every pair of Gentle Monster sunglasses features handy nose pads, which instead of distracting from the design, blends in, amalgamating experimental design with high functionality. With Asians typically obtaining features that include having a broad face, high cheekbones, low nose bridges and not to mention a proclivity for expensive designer sunglasses – there was certainly a gap in the market for an eyewear brand that would cater to such requirements. Thankfully, this is where the upcoming eyewear brand comes in, who do not only tick all the above boxes but also arrive with a somewhat affordable price tag (mostly all under $300), proving them to be a plentiful, albeit smart investment.

The brand’s North American flagship store opened in New York’s Soho in February 2016. Immersive, artful shopping is the concept behind the brand’s retail experience, where customers will discover two walls; one comprising of delicate, definitive sunglasses and the other exhibiting more unconventional frames, complete with a fountain that is situated in the center. A short walk on and you will discover a “gallery space” that features art displays which rotate; an experience you won’t be able to achieve online!

The store is just a short stroll from Opening Ceremony, the fashion label which it collaborated with on a spring/summer 2016 collection. The designs emerged as unquestionably attention-grabbing, with a series of styles that encompassed swirling, mother-of-pearl-colored acetates, arriving in a mixed palette of red, black, wooden brown and gold and silver metallic. Striking and unorthodox: it was definitely a collection for the fashionista who loves to experiment.

Whilst the innovative eyewear brand champions investigational qualities throughout several styles – an example being the ski goggle-esque frames created for Hood by Air – many others are charmingly modest. Despite the Love Punch sunglasses that feature razor-thin wireframes being a popular choice, they do not, however, mask too much facial space. Additional standouts throughout Gentle Monster’s collections include the Future Is Past shades, which favor a rounded silhouette with a luxe gold trim detail and the chunky Luck and Fate that surprisingly are ironically lightweight. Variety and an infusion of design innovation are waiting to be unveiled at Gentle Monster.

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