Gentle Monster

'UNOPENED: THE PROBE' Spring 2021 Ad Campaign

Review of Gentle Monster ‘UNOPENED: THE PROBE’ Spring 2021 Ad Campaign by Photographer Davit Giorgadze

Have you ever thought to yourself something like: “Gentle Monster is pretty cool, and indeed they have an innovative take on fashion marketing which often makes smart use of cutting-edge technology, but they would never do something like build an actually functioning giant spider robot for no apparent reason”? Because if so, you were wrong.

When the devilishly unpredictable South Korean eyewear brand first teased this campaign with a minimalist video of a spider-like robot marching ominously forward, we understandably assumed it to be a digital rendering. But they blew our collective minds upon releasing further videos which depict the actual robot, which is taller than a human, walking around the company’s research lab.

This incredible and somewhat frightening piece of technology forms the centerpiece of the brand’s new Spring 2021 campaign. Arriving in tandem with the brand’s tenth anniversary, it feels like a fitting celebration of their past achievement, and a promise that they are only just getting started.

Fusing this new robot and the aesthetic world it represents with photography and digital minimalism, the imagery forms an uncanny exploration of our relationship with technology. Photographer Davit Giorgadze captures his models, clad in the collection’s futuristic sunglasses, in relatively straightforward portrait shots. They are then inserted into a green screen-like digital environment, where the spider walker steps ominously in the background.

While the visuals are striking, it is by its concept that the campaign shines

In the first place, the approach completely shatters all expectations of what fashion marketing can be. Gentle Monster has positioned itself as much more than an eyewear or even lifestyle brand; the team has taken on an aura of mad scientists, a clandestine collective of forward-thinking creatives who can and will make whatever they want. This in turn gives them an interesting opportunity to play with public perception. In a way, this campaign feels like a critique of how alienating technological progress has become; it feels ominous and incomprehensible.

What else is going on at the secret Gentle Monster laboratories? What could they be preparing to unleash on the world? Surely it must be for the sake of something more than just selling sunglasses…? Whatever the case, they are certainly going to sell a lot of sunglasses.

Photographer | Davit Giorgadze