South Korean eyewear brand, Gentle Monster are known not just for their stylish sunglasses and opticals. If you’ve stepped into one of their stores, you’ll know that other than the designs, the store space in itself leaves a lasting impression. Their spacious stores are beautifully laid out with several art installations strategically placed inside. What you may not know is that no two Gentle Monster stores are the same. Hence, every store is a new experience. Each store has its own story, concept and set of artwork and installations.
After the success of Singapore’s first Gentle Monster flagship store in ION Orchard, the Korean brand has expanded and opened a new store in Marina Bay Sands. With a concept called ‘THE DATA ADDICTS’, the store is designed to tell an interesting, grim and rather controversial story using its space and art installations. BAZAAR had an exclusive chat with Lee Jihee, Space Project Manager at Gentle Monster, who played a major hand at the design of the new Marina Bay Sands store.
Scroll through the gallery above to have not just a peek at the artworks and installations, but to find out the intended message that each piece is aiming to convey. Then read on to gather insights from the Space Designer herself:
If you could describe Gentle Monster in 3 words, what would it be?
Weird beauty, unpredictable and never-seen-before
How does Gentle Monster project their unique concepts?
We want to give every customer a special experience. A few years ago, we used to just focus on the space, location and installations. Now, we have broadened our methods and communicate our concepts in a more holistic manner via our digital campaigns and shoots.
Going on to the new store, can you tell us the concept of the new Marina Bay Sands store?
In line with our holistic message, we have placed product design, space design and visual concepts under one overarching theme. The theme given by our CEO this time round is through the number ’13’. The story stems from the idea, “What if the angle of the moon changes, allowing us to have a 13th month? How will we imagine the impact will be here on planet Earth?”. For the Singapore store, we focused on the environmental impact that we imagine to happen when this mysterious shift in the moon occurs.
How long did the entire process of conceptualizing and creating these installations take?
Our CEO, Mr Kim, presented us with this main concept of ’13’ and left it up to the design team to use our imagination and turn it into reality. The concept and story took us about a year to perfect and the installations for this store specifically took about 4 months. The visual message for Gentle Monster is very important to us, so we take our time to make sure it’s delivered well.
Is there a correlation between the eyewear design and the space design?
For now, there isn’t. But as of 2019 onwards, certain elements of our spacial design and installations will be reflected on the eyewear designs as well, making it a cohesive message.
What kind of experience and emotions do you want the customers who walk into this Gentle Monster store at Marina Bay Sands to leave with after viewing the space?
In comparison to the store at ION, the installations here have a more sombre message. The ION store has lots of vibrant colours and installations that inspire feelings of warmth in your heart whereas this new one is the opposite, with a stronger message. It’s more cold and ominous. So we want people to leave with a sense of sadness and deep reflection.
The Gentle Monster Singapore Marina Bay Sands store will be located at The Shoppes, Marina Bay Sands, Canal Level, B2-103.