Gentle Monster, PP Glam forge joint venture

Gentle Monster, PP Glam forge joint venture

Flagship store opens at The EmQuartier

The Gentle Monster store at The EmQuartier retail complex.
The Gentle Monster store at The EmQuartier retail complex.

Gentle Monster, a renowned Korean eyewear brand, has embarked on a joint venture with a Thai partner to introduce the Korean brand's largest eyewear store in Thailand.

Salin Suyarnsettakorn, managing director of PP Glam Co, said the new venture -- IICOMBINE Thailand -- had recently been formed, with Gentle Monster holding a 55% stake and PP Glam having a 45% share in the business.

While Gentle Monster has established 75 locations worldwide, only three of its markets -- Thailand, Dubai and Hong Kong -- operate under a joint venture scheme, while the remainder are solely owned by the Korean firm.

According to Ms Salin, IICOMBINE Thailand invested 40 million baht to inaugurate the first Gentle Monster eyewear store on Aug 25 this year. It covers 340 square metres on the ground floor of The EmQuartier complex, offering the brand's latest releases and special collaborations. This month it plans to unveil a limited product exclusive to Bangkok.

The new store is Gentle Monster's largest in Southeast Asia and second-largest in Asia after China. It represents the most recent addition to the brand's extensive network of 75 shops worldwide, including cities such as Shanghai, New York, London, Beijing and Los Angeles.

"Thailand has had its sights on Gentle Monster for a decade, and it took us three years to bring this brand to Thailand," she said. "We believe the timing is right because we've found the perfect location and store size to showcase our products."

Ms Salin said PP Glam seized the opportunity with Gentle Monster because there are fewer global fashion eyewear shops than in the luxury fashion, shoe and bag segments. Gentle Monster's designs, styles and fittings also resonate well with Asian consumers, she said.

In addition, among foreign shoppers, who are responsible for purchasing the largest amount of Gentle Monster eyewear, both in Korean shops and online, are from Thailand.

"Ten days after opening, Gentle Monster Thailand became the brand's top-selling store globally. The brand has been incredibly successful in Thailand because people here are fashionable," she noted, revealing the company's plan to open a new Gentle Monster store every year, with an initial target of four stores. The company anticipates that the value of Gentle Monster eyewear sales will reach 150 million baht this year.

PP Glam is a subsidiary of PP Group, an importer of leading fashion lifestyle brands such as Longchamp, Givenchy, Off-White and Roger Vivier.

PP Glam manages three brands: MCM bags; Palm Angels, an Italian streetwear brand for apparel and bags; and Gentle Monster.

The company plans to add at least one new fashion brand to PP Glam's portfolio every year and is currently in talks with a luxury fashion brand, with the aim of launching it next year.

Additionally, lifestyle and cosmetic products are in the firm's business pipeline. PP Glam achieved sales of 400 million baht last year and anticipates reaching sales of 650 million baht this year, including revenue from Gentle Monster eyewear.

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