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A Robot, Donkeys and a Sculpture in San Jose

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Gentle Monster, the Korean eyewear brand and retailer, has opened another of its highly idiosyncratic stores, this time in Santa Clara, part of San Jose in Silicon Valley.

And it’s as surprising in its appearance as has almost become the norm for every single Gentle Monster store that welcomes shoppers. Practically, this means a store in which a pair of donkeys, which move, stand opposite each other, a sculpture reaches out from a surround of mid-shop wooden display stands and, most weirdly, a seated figure of an elderly woman has exposed wires in her middle. She is in fact a wannabe robot, but the scarily realistic portrayal feels nothing other than unsettling.

All of which is a setting for glasses, but it would be perfectly possible to miss this entirely, or to happen upon the product after you’ve finished looking at the surroundings. If nothing else, the store does what a proper store should: it grabs your attention and keeps it.