The brand could become 'truly iconic.'

Private equity firm L Catterton Asia, which is backed by luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, has invested in IICOMBINED, owner of fast-growing South Korean eyewear brand Gentle Monster.

The amount of the investment was not disclosed. Ravi Thakran of L Catterton Asia told Reuters that his firm was now the second-largest stakeholder in the company.

Founded in 2011 by Jay Oh and Hankook Kim, Gentle Monster has a presence in 19 countries.

L Catterton Asia leads a consortium including Groupe Arnault in the Gentle Monster investment.

"With its strong brand identity and creative designs, Gentle Monster is an emerging company that is redefining the sunglasses-design space with the potential to become a truly iconic brand," Thakran said. "Gentle Monster is already outselling more established competitors, delivering retail productivity on par with or better than many luxury brands."

We already have a presence in Greater China and America and plan to further expand our footprint into Europe and the Middle East. Our goal is to reach even more international consumers, offer them our distinctive products and flagship experiences and continue to inspire them by conveying our unique approach to building the future of retail."

Hankook Kim, CEO of Gentle Monster, said, "We already have a presence in Greater China and America and plan to further expand our footprint into Europe and the Middle East. Our goal is to reach even more international consumers, offer them our distinctive products and flagship experiences and continue to inspire them by conveying our unique approach to building the future of retail."

Reuters reports that with the investment, LVMH is "banking on the Korean pop culture boom to fuel sales of the country’s luxury brands."

L Catterton was formed through the partnership of Catterton, LVMH and Groupe Arnault.

 

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