Gentle Monster's pioneering sunglass shapes consistently push luxury eyewear concepts far from the comfort zone, blending premium construction and elevated silhouette. They do more than just tiny shades, that's for sure. Just take its latest collaboration, for instance, which sees the South Korean brand partnering with Blizzard's World of Warcraft for a line of elegant eyewear.
All that's been revealed is a single slim style, its semi-frameless honey-hued lenses jagged at the edges and joined by a gracefully curved nose bridge. Sleek arms mirror the silver sheen that edges the lenses' bottom, reiterating a sense of fluid motion. As a World of Warcraft newbie, it could be hard to see exactly what the point of reference is until you consider The Burning Crusade, the new WoW Classic expansion pack that just launched, and the anatomy of Illidan Stormrage, its primary adversary.
The middle ground between luxury products and gaming has been particularly well-trodden, the past few years underscoring the worthiness of the industries' explorations thanks to adventurous experiments and unexpected demand. It's crucial for young luxury labels like Gentle Monster to keep on top of the wave, especially if it offers the brand a new realm to sell in.
South Korean gaming culture is famously intense, with Esports teams treated with similar die-hard enthusiasm as "conventional" athletes in sports like baseball and soccer. WoW is popular enough in Korea that, at one point, there was even a local WoW-themed cooking show. There are some factors keeping WoW from attaining the same explosive demand as some of its gaming peers, however.
Clogged servers and the sprawling nature of the MMORPG genre that World of Warcraft inhabits — which swaps instant-gratification points and scores for long-term goals and tasks — make it a less dynamic diversion than popular tournament games like League of Legends or Starcraft. Don't get it twisted, though, WoW is still a big draw in Gentle Monster's home base, and should get plenty of eyeballs on (and behind) the collaborative glasses when they launch on June 4.
For now, apply for the release drawing or just watch the clock tick down to the collaboration's launch on Gentle Monster's website.