One of the running lists on the Notes app on my phone is divided into three sections: to know about Korea, to do in Korea, and to shop in Korea. As we spend more time in Seoul, the list grows longer. One place 'to shop' made the list even before we arrived--Gentle Monster, a Korean sunglass company (that happens to be carried by Nordstrom).
Last weekend, we visited the flagship store in Sinsa-dong. I thought I'd browse the multiple floors, admire the artistic decor, and only possibly pick out a pair to take home (yeah, right). I came out with this pair, which reminds me of the Gucci one I missed out on, though I could easily have come out with these or these.
Shopping in Gentle Monster is an experience, and you pay for that experience with the high-quality and well-crafted frames. The floor sales associate records your style selection on a card and directs you to the upper-level waiting area where you drop off the card and receive a buzzer. The sales associates pull the item from stock and examine for quality. Then, when your buzzer rings, you approach the counter to try on the pair and ensure, or adjust for, fit. Once you give the okay, the associates package the pair, with a luxurious case and certificate of quality and authenticity, in a nice box in a nice bag; the thing is aesthetic overload.
Of course, every day has been cloudy since, but I plan to wear the heck out of these gorgeous sunnies once I get the chance!