First, it was k-pop, then it was cosmetics. However, the next sensation in Korean cool could well be sunglasses.
The country that’s known as an outhouse for style is home to several top sunglasses and eyewear brands; many of which have started in just the last few years. Some, like Gentle Monster, are already well known and have built a reputation as outlets of high-fashion shades. Dig a little deeper, though, and you’ll find numerous other Korean sunglasses brands producing quality shapes and frames.
Here is a look at some of our favorites.
Korean Sunglasses Brands
Carin is a brand that has recently gained a lot of attention due to being worn by BTS’ Jimin in the video for their latest hit Dynamite. The brand is mid-to-high-end with frames costing between $200 and $300. The best thing about Carin is its really easy-to-use English language website that offers worldwide shipping.
Gentle Monster is undoubtedly the headline act of Korean sunglasses. Founded in 2011, over the past few years the company has grown into one of the world’s most sought after sunglasses brands. Its signature look is one of oversized, thick frames in dark colors. They’re frequently spotted on some of the hottest Korean celebrities including BTS’s Jimin and actor Jeon Ji Hyun. The brand has collaborated with several other high-end brands including Ambush and Alexander Wang. Gentle Monster sells its sunglasses online and in physical outlets throughout the world. Find out more at the link below.
Projekt Produkt is an eyewear company founded in 2014. The brand has an interesting selection of on-trend frames available in a variety of colors. Recent designs favor transparent or metal frames with colored lenses. Like Gentle Monster, Projekt Produkt sells its glasses internationally.
Muzik Eyewear creates sunglasses inspired by culture, art, fashion, music. The brand was founded in 2013 and has since produced multiple collaborations including those with Korean designers Superfiction and Surreal But Nice. The brand’s sunglasses have been worn by a number of Korean stars including IU, Girls’ Generation’s Tae Yeon, and actor Nam Goong-min. Muzik has an English language option on its site.
Facetion is a brand founded in 2016. They have an interesting range of sunglasses (and regular glasses). We especially like the S, F+Up Sunglasses in grey pictured above. You can buy the glasses and check out the whole selection on SSF Mall.
Manomos Eyewear was founded in 2015 and has its flagship store in Seoul. The Korean sunglasses brand is popular with K Pop-stars and has been worn by members of BTS, Seventeen, and IKON. In fact, you can even shop the glasses based on which ones have been worn by K Pop stars. These ones, for example, were worn by both V and Jin from BTS. Like the above brands, Manamos sunglasses are available worldwide.
Stephane Christian sells a variety of metal and acetate frames. It says its glasses are inspired by French chich and that it encompasses both the modern and the retro. Stephane Christian is another relatively modern brand, having launched in 2015. Since its founding, it has collaborated with respected designers including J Koo and Calvin Luo. The brand also has an English language website with overseas delivery.
Lapiz sells a variety of styles of sunglasses. Their latest campaign encourages the buyer to live in the moment and is full of oversized angular frames. The brand has collaborated with several international brands including Japanese designer Yuka Chocomoo and actor Daniel Henney. Lapiz has a link to the English section of their website but unfortunately, it appears to be down suggesting they no longer sell internationally. Nonetheless, you can check out what you are missing via their Instagram account.
Graffic:Plastic has a large selection of frames and can boast that their designs have been worn by members of BTS and featured on Korean dramas. Unfortunately, at the moment it appears that they are only available to purchase in Korea. You can check out more from the brand at either its Instagram account or website.
Senselect glasses have been worn by a whole host of Korean celebrities. They have a large selection of glasses including both retro and modern styles. We especially like the Copain F frames pictured above. Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be any way to buy the glasses internationally.