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Yun eyewear: minimalist design of the future

By Barbara Russ


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Designer Jiyoon Yun's shop on Rosenthaler Strasse in Berlin is a feast for the eyes in two ways. On the one hand, at Yun’s, glasses are available to fill any prescription and desire (sunglasses, anti blue light glasses, glasses that are so nicely minimalist that one would even wear them with perfectly fine eyes), and on the other, there is a strange machine that reminds one a little of a tiny factory. With this device, the store makes its own glasses, within a maximum of 20 minutes. FashionUnited talked to the designer about the concept of her store, and how to bring people into offline stores in an online era.

Please explain the USP of your eyewear brand Yun.

You get prescription glasses in 20 minutes! That's our unique selling point, a service you will not get in any other store. We have integrated our system from ordering to production into the store, so that all steps are done very quickly and automatically with the help of our self-developed automated system. In addition, we have our own agile inventory management, so we are prepared for customers with any kind of prescription.

How exactly does this automated process work?

When you order your glasses, your general information and prescription data is immediately transmitted to the machine. Since our system has already stored our frame and lens data, it begins to cut your glasses according to the frame shape and your personal data stored in our system once the machine has understood the job - this only takes about two to four minutes. When the glasses are done, the rest of the work is done by our staff: adjusting and fitting the frame. So we let technology do our job very efficiently and use the free time to provide a better personalised service.

Yun is a cross-generational project between you and your father. What does he know that you don’t and vice versa?

My father CJ Yun was a brilliant technician before starting out in the eyewear industry. After a few years as a technician, he started working as a frame designer and manufacturer, and from 2000, he started lens making. He's basically a veteran in everything. On the other hand, I studied fashion retail, design and business at one of Seoul’s prestigious universities and started my career in fashion as a fashion designer. So I learned how to react flexibly to trends, as well as much about branding and fashion management. He usually takes over the responsibility for the system and operations and I am more responsible for branding, design, production and marketing. Yun is a true collaboration between technology and creativity, old and new, speed and slowness.

Why did you decide to offer the 20 minute service in such a futuristic fashion?

This state-of-the-art technology is one of our key success factors. Nowadays, the shopping experience is becoming increasingly important for retailers and we wanted to visually present our cool concept and let people participate in our service by offering a totally new and different experience.

How important is the customer experience today?

That's a hot topic for all retailers, I think. Customers are getting used to buying on the internet, and many online businesses are already providing them with a great customer experience in cyberspace. People do not find it necessary to go to an offline store if it does not add value to them. That is why many brands, including luxury brands, are reducing the number of their brick and mortar stores.

For you, what defines Korean design?

Korean minimalism emerged from the void. Our ancestors taught us that the void means infinite possibilities, potential and imagination. Korean minimalism is a bit different from the one in the West, which means simplification and less materialism. We have been taught that being empty means keeping your balance - not too much, not too little - it's more about training oneself to avoid being biased in one aspect. This whole philosophical lesson not only influences our brand image but also the whole concept behind our company. The balance between old and new, between generations, technology and creativity, speed and slowness.

What is Yun’s philosophy?

We believe that the glasses in people’s everyday life should always be with them. Back to the basics and the deeper meaning of existence. That's why all our designs are not over the top; they are timeless and classic, so you can wear them for a long time.

For the current collaboration, why did you decide on Hien Le as partner?

It was destiny. We have a lot in common in regards to the brand image, very minimalistic with an Asian aesthetic that is hard to find in Europe. Yun is primarily an eyewear brand, but I wanted to build Yun as a lifestyle brand to allow for a broader perspective, not just glasses. Of course, I love his design and style, but when it comes to this collaboration, there was another reason why I decided to work with Hien Le: his way of thinking. I admire him because he respects diversity and his thinking is translated into his campaign. Working with him was a lot of fun but he also made me think about myself. For example, when I got an email from him saying "Please consider the environment before printing this email!" Yun wants to be the right brand, make the right statement and think about our environment, people and the world and that's why I selected him.

Are you planning more collaborations? If yes, with whom?

Yes, definitely. We are open to any kind of cooperation with different creative people from different fields. Everyone has different talents and when two different talents meet, I know that a great synergy can arise, like with my father and me. The cooperation with Hien Le is also a good example. There are some interesting collaborations that we have planned.

In December, we are planning to collaborate with Maria, chief bartender of Green Door. She will create a Yun cocktail and we will present this drink in our store (or online first). We are also in contact with a Korean artist who is currently in Berlin and plans to open his exhibition in our store. In addition, we are always on the lookout for brands and designers who can participate in product development.

This article was originally published on FashionUnited DE. Translated by Simone Preuss.

Fotos: Yun Berlin

Customer Experience