Gentle Monster Flagship: the most exquisite store in NYC!!

gentle monster 2

If design, retail, and branding is your thing, run, don’t walk, to check out this store.  Gentle Monster, is the new flagship in the US for this super-cool Korean eyewear brand – it opened earlier this year. Every aspect conveys a singular philosophy of design and modern living. Leaving the store, I was literally breathless from the experience. Here are 3 things you need to know:

1. The store design is by Rafael de Cardenas of Architecture at Large

It’s sleek and contemporary but doesn’t feel stark or cold. Love the way they’ve used embedded digital imagery – reminds me of the digital art in the lobby of the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Vegas. The product display is also exceptional – they’ve constructed backlit aluminum shelving, which produces a floating effect – and as you walk thru the store, from front to back, the designs get more innovative and wild.

2.The eyewear, from founder and creative director Hankook Kim, is high-concept, beautiful and Instagram-worthy!

Hankook Kim told NYMag: “We set out on a mission to find and develop the perfect frame design that would fit perfectly and naturally on Korean people. Many celebrities found our designs and frames most appealing, for our product not only fit on them, they felt that the designs accentuated their features and looked great on camera.”

Kim works with two main materials: acetate and steel but also experiments with chrome, titanium, and other metals.

3. The back of store gallery features design installations – currently by Moooi (a Dutch lighting, carpet and furniture store that I covered back in March). The gallery will be reinstalled with new work for May.

The store’s creative manager, Minyeong Kim, is curating the art.

Location: 79 Grand Street (near Wooster), NYC

See below for more pics, including their collaboration and pop-up at the Opening Ceremony store on Howard Street.


Street view



IMG_8166 (1)

View into the store


“I love this kind of ’80s Armani palette,” says Cárdenas of the space.

IMG_8165 (1)

The screen with Gentle Monster has embedded digital art

IMG_8162 (1)

Displays and the digital art that is embedded in the screens

IMG_8161 (1)

Product displayed and moments of zen

IMG_8160 (1)

Product displays


The Solar Hibernation art installation by Moooi.


Gentle Monster Pop-Up at Opening Ceremony on Howard Street In Soho


Share this post on: