HIGH VOLTAGE The most coveted shades this summer came via an unexpected collaborat­ion between Fendi and Gentle Monster


NO STRANGER TO COLLABORAT­IONS, Fendi has in the past partnered with artist Hey Reilly for the iconic Fendi/Fila logos featured in the Fendi Mania collection, and with Taeyang of Korean band Big Bang for a capsule collection. The brand recognises that these coconspira­tors bring valuable new voices and points of view to Fendi’s storied legacy.

Joining the list this summer is cult Korean eyewear label Gentle Monster. Christened Gentle Fendi, the collection draws on Fendi’s playful spirit and Italian savoir faire as well as the graphic, futurist leanings that define Gentle Monster’s unconventi­onal approach to eyewear design.

Just shy of a decade since its launch, Gentle Monster’s star has been rising steadily. It is today a defining voice in the eyewear universe. With flaships around the world from Seoul to New York, China, and Singapore, Gentle Monster eschews the formulaic approach for a fresh take on eyewear retail. In fact, its stores look more like galleries than surreal art installati­ons, challengin­g and inspiring consumers to create their own identity.

While it may sound strange, this way of engaging its customers has garnered fans ranging from K-pop stars to the who’s who in the fashion industry. This collaborat­ion with Fendi, one of the most important names in luxury, cements its status as one of the most relevant names in the business today.

Riding on the trend of small framed opticals is Gentle Fendi No.1. The classic cat-eye is given a facelift with a modern streamline­d silhouette, shaving away the excess and concentrat­ing on the pure form that lends it an almost robotic sci-fi look. The sharp semirimles­s lenses are given a shot of colour in pink, azure or a subdued grey. The ends of the shades are capped with contrastin­g acetate.

Gentle Fendi No.2 bridges style and wearabilit­y with its rounded design. The lightweigh­t metal constructi­on makes for a comfortabl­e wear while keeping the overall aesthetic light and sleek. Lenses in dark grey, silver and rose-gold are matched with frames in correspond­ing colours, creating a tone-on-tone look that highlights the contrastin­g T-bar insert and high shine mirrored lenses. What at first glance seems unassuming takes on an entirely different personalit­y when worn. AM

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