Once a cult South Korean eyewear label to in-the-knows, Gentle Monster is now the cool, paradoxical name on everyone’s lips. And it should be. Raved for its experimental oeuvre in designing coke-bottle-thick sunglasses and tailoring brick-and-mortar experiences, Gentle Monster is the beacon of hope amid the global decline of the retail market. The hot label has just opened its Southeast Asian flagship store here in Singapore.
Just like its other stores the world over, Gentle Monster Singapore takes the concept of experiential, artful shopping to new heights. Named Samsara — after Ron Fricke’s eponymous travelogue, which translates to “cycle of life” in Sanskrit — the immersive boutique mimics the evolution of the human mind, interweaving its disruptive frames along the journey.
Step inside, and you’ll find a contemporary museum-like space replete with art installations. The store is divided into five zones. First, there’s the Camel: The Restrained Life area greeting you with a curious object that has a kinetic skein repetitively pulled, causing a series of movement infinitely imprisoned in a perennial loop. It’s a philosophical artwork based on the brand’s vision of the “unescapable wheel of life”.
Walk deeper into the Insta-perfect maze, and there’s Lion: The Ruler of Life with its lion tail display; Judge: Life on the Scale with an altar; Mobius: Witnessing Samsara with a metallic sculpture; and at the end, Backstage: Awakening of Life with its tills — waking you up back to reality.