Popping up: GENTLE MONSTER and Jennie bring JENTLE SALON to China

On 1 May, after more than a week of teasing, GENTLE MONSTER finally dropped the Jentle Salon collection, a partnership between the cult Korean fashion eyewear brand and Jennie of Blackpink. This is the third collaboration between the brand and the K-pop superstar after Jentle Home in 2020 and Jentle Garden in 2022.

The brand also brings its pop-up installation, inspired by the dreamy designs from Jennie to its stores in China. From 1 May to the end of June, you can check in (打卡) with the installation at both HAUS NOWHERE SHANGHAI and Sanlitun Takoo Li Beijing.

On Weibo, the topic #JENTLESALON# brought in over 2 million views since launch, common with the brand’s engagement on the platform. On WeChat, the post advertising the GENTLE MONSTER Jennie collaboration from the brand’s official account gained 46,700 views, making it one of the most popular recent posts by the account.

However, netizens on Xiaohongshu have picked up a controversy surrounding the collab. A gift box that includes not just each collab item, but also an exclusive unicorn plushie has been given away to celebrities and influencers such as Chinese actress Esther Yu Shuxin and Thai actor Thitipoom Techaapaikhun. However, the ordinary consumer can only get one through prize draws. What’s more, there is only one box for the entirety of the Chinese market, while it was rumoured that 25% of the 300 boxes given away to celebrities and influencers went to China. There are anecdotal reports that the collaboration was understocked and that only the first 3 to 5 in the queue could get a specific pair of popular specs.

It would seem that the collaboration is more limited in number than most had expected for a high-profile co-branding with an international star such as Jennie. However, like many collab campaigns, viral marketing and online engagement are more important for the brand than the sales itself.


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