Gentle Monster revamps Haus Shanghai with installations and a croissant gym

Cult South Korean fashion eyewear label Gentle Monster has revamped its Shanghai multi-brand retail space from Haus Shanghai to Haus Nowhere. Coinciding with the reopening of the space, the brands launched several installations including a collaboration pop-up with French fashion label Maison Margiela and various other brands.

On the ground floor, a pair of robot statues made for the Maison Margiela collab welcomes visitors and leads them upstairs to the brand’s retail space. They are then met with even larger installations of two gigantic heads facing each other, in classic Gentle Monster x Maison Margiela fashion.

The space also hosts more than just specs and sunglasses. On the ground floor, Gentle Monster’s own café brand NUDAKE presents a “croissant gym” concept space. Combining the dreaded carb and coveted workout into one space, the installation shows the likes of dumbbells, boxing gloves and trophies made in the shape of the French pastry, creating a feast for the eye and a check-in spot.

Besides this, the South Korean fragrance brand Tamburins showcases a hyperreal statue of an elderly couple with the gentleman putting lipstick on for the lady. Whilst it might raise a few eyebrows to put a café and a fragrance store on the same floor, both brands complement the robotic installation provided by Gentle Monster and Maison Margiela.

The top floor is a dedicated exhibition space currently hosting an interactive exhibition/treasure hunt that will give 5 lucky explorers who find the secret keys a choice of free items. Another floor hosts four South Korean designer brands that are entering China for the first time, including AMOMENTO, EENK, Open Yy and Thisisneverthat.

Gentle Monster has been known for its artistic flare, both with events and store curation. However, with 80% of the 3,350 square metre space being used for art display and only 20% for merchandising, it is clear that the “retail” space is in fact an experiential and art space. With the rapid post-pandemic development of e-commerce and social commerce, brands are becoming more creative in utilising their brick-and-mortar spaces.

By creating the art experience within the shop, Gentle Monster has not only created a check-in place for visitors but also an on-brand display of the eyewear label’s arty brand image. To adopt a buzzword from today, the retail space provides high “emotional value” for young visitors with a need for experience and fashion.


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