Stumbling across a brand that is taking a completely different approach to retailing sends shivers down our collective spine.
We recently came across one such brand on a recent work trip to Seoul: if you haven’t already heard of the brand, then let us introduce you to Gentle Monster.
We first came across the premium fashion eyewear brand when we passed its new BAT project space, in the Garosu-gil area of Seoul, in October 2016. Gentle Monster describes the project as aiming to “expand its vision and devotion towards new and exciting design and experience”.
BAT caught our attention thanks to its ground floor café, which looked like the world’s coolest coffee shop – immediately drawing your curiosity and attention from the street.
Named ‘Coffee in the Farm’, the ground floor of the BAT project comprises a café with a dirt floor (see image below, far left), a vertical farm in the basement (see image below, left) and a cornfield on the second floor. Walking on the crunchy earth underfoot worked well in transporting us a world away from the busy city street.
Coffee in the Farm is just one of many concept spaces Gentle Monster has launched to excite, inspire and engage its audience (see remaining photos, below), through its own design and its collaborations with fashion brands and artists.
It takes a brave retailer who seeks to build its brand awareness through bold and innovative design rather than simply plastering their stores with their brand identity. But we think it’s a strategy which will pay off for Gentle Monster in the long term.
As Gentle Monster put it in their own words: “Branding is one of the most important aspects we consider in our business, to create a unique and significant image for a brand and product in consumers’ mind[s]. What we intend is not about getting people to choose Gentle Monster over the competition, but to make people to see Gentle Monster as the only one that draw[s] their mind.”
With thanks to Gentle Monster for the use of its photos.