Sweet vision: Gentle Monster unveils candy-inspired ‘Gentle Jelly’ collection

    The South Korean luxury eyewear brand’s newly launched collection has gone viral on social media. Are Chinese consumers buying in?
    Photo: Gentle Monster
      Published   in Fashion

    Overview: South Korean luxury eyewear brand Gentle Monster has recently launched its imaginative 2024 "Gentle Jelly" collection, drawing inspiration from the playful world of jelly.

    Notably, the "Gummy" glasses feature gradient frames in candy hues like pink, light blue, and yellow, adorned with three-dimensional jelly patterns resembling strawberries and other flavors. The packaging mirrors a classic bag of gummies, with each eyewear piece named after a characteristic of the popular treat.

    Gentle Jelly Gummy glasses. Photo: Gentle Monster
    Gentle Jelly Gummy glasses. Photo: Gentle Monster

    On January 19 and 20, Gentle Monster unveiled offline pop-up spaces in Seoul and Beijing, mounting a number of amusing jelly creatures donning “Gentle Jelly” frames.

    Netizens’ reactions: Adopting a playful and avant-garde marketing approach, the eyewear brand released three teaser trailers ahead of the launch, generating excitement among fashion influencers. The collection went viral on Chinese social platforms, with Weibo's #GENTLEJELLY# hashtag amassing 1.67 million reads.

    However, netizens expressed frustration over the limited availability of the showcased "Gummy" glasses with special packaging, fueling discussions on the brand's marketing tactics. There are posts on Xiaohongshu saying “the tactic is toxic” and asking, “Is the brand playing at hunger marketing?”

    Gentle Jelly Yummy glasses. Photo: Gentle Monster
    Gentle Jelly Yummy glasses. Photo: Gentle Monster

    Verdict: Established in 2011, Gentle Monster has rapidly become a leading high-end eyewear brand. It boasts nearly a hundred stores around the world and secured investment from LVMH in 2017. The brand's success is attributed not only to its distinctive products but also to its innovative marketing strategies, consistently offering consumers a unique vision and experience in the competitive eyewear market.

    Known for its captivating offline retail spaces, Gentle Monster creates an emotional connection with consumers through thematic designs and art installations. The temporary Gentle Jelly spaces feature oversized candy wrappers and vibrant gummy candies, immersing visitors in a delightful world of soft confections.

    Despite the campaign's success, Chinese consumers were dissatisfied when they discovered many of the KOL-styled products were unavailable to them. Criticism of the brand's substantial budget allocation to KOL collaborations and social media ads has raised concerns about the sustainability of Gentle Monster's brand-building efforts in China, potentially affecting its long-term reputation.

    Additionally reporting from Janice Li

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