Gen Z Icons Willow Smith and Harry Hudson Unveil an Eyewear Collection – the First Project of X8
X8 is a new venture company building a creative hub for artists and avatars who will meet In Real Life (IRL) and The Metaverse.
Gen Z stars Willow Smith and Harry Hudson are the faces of X8 Eyewear, the brainchild of X8, a paradigm shifting, creative projects platform, and seed-stage venture fund based in New York, Seoul, and Singapore.
X8 created a 23-piece collection that transcends gender labels with fluid cool oversize shapes and architectural flourishes.
“I was honored to join the X8 Anima/Animus campaign because I loved the messaging of gender fluidity and the duality of masculine and feminine energies that I believe exists inside every one of us. I had so much fun shooting this concept with my dear friend, Harry,” said Smith, who is an actress, singer-songwriter, and talk show host known for her progressive personal style.
“I was inspired by X8’s creative vision of two forces working together in harmony with one another. A lot of my music has been about balancing the light, dark and the masculine, feminine energy of life, so that idea of true duality really spoke to me and made me want to be a part of this campaign. Also, shooting with my friend and genius Willow was too much fun,” said Hudson, 21, a singer-songwriter famous for documenting his battle with cancer on social media.
While this is Smith and Hudson’s first foray into working with eyewear, it isn’t for X8, which was recently co-founded by Won Lee, the former CEO and CCO of Gentle Monster USA—the South Korean eyewear company—overseeing its rapid rise as one of the biggest eyewear brands in the world.
X8 is at the nexus of all things creative (fashion, art, entertainment, technology) and the future. It is Co-founded by Won Lee from South Korea who, outside of his tenure at Gentle Monster, has had an eclectically creative background developing hospitality projects with mega real estate groups such as CBRE, Prodigy and Soho House, as well as a $50M Media/Light Art project in Jeju Island, South Korea, and Nikhil ‘Ra’ Sharma, an Indian entrepreneur, producer and creative projects specialist who has also had a diverse background working with brands such as Louis Vuitton and Chanel Beauté, producing shows with talents such as David Bowie and Prince, Executive Producing a film by Oscar nominated director Fernando Meirelles, and working on projects with personalities such as Silicon Valley icon Sean Parker (Napster, Facebook, Spotify) to Fashion photography legend, Ellen von Unwerth.
Lee (Creative Director, Real World) and Ra (Creative Director, Metaverse) will be working as brothers in arms to morph the present into the future; the real with the virtual. They will oversee two core teams—an artistic, creative, manufacturing team in South Korea; and the Metaverse, NFT, Gaming, AI, Future Tech Studios in India.
X8 is actively developing the X8 Neo-Circus (X8NC), a members-only creative hub/platform for artists, celebrities and influencers in Jeju, and Decentraland: the first decentralized metaverse. This will go hand in hand with a secret character-based NFT project driving the platform. All X8 products will be showcased and sold in X8NC—in both physical and digital forms.
X8 has collaborated with Xelpmoc Design & Technology, a BSE/NSE listed company (XELP:IN). They will join X8 to build X8M (X8 Metaverse) in India to develop and invest in technologies to scale the X8 proposition globally. The core team of X8M are Sandipan Chattopadhyay, Suman Bose and Monce C. Abraham. Sandipan is the founder and MD of Xelpmoc; the co-founder of MoneyControl; and the ex-CTO of Just Dial. Suman Bose—Director and Chief Evangelist at Xelpmoc—was the former Managing Director of Siemens Industry Software. Sandipan and Suman will spearhead the tech and investment strategies for X8M. Monce C. Abraham—Director at THEV—will be focusing on operations and growth strategies for X8M. Abraham, at 24 years of age, was the youngest individual ever to head Marketing and Research at IVCA (Indian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association).
X8’s mission is to empower those who dare to dismantle the past, unsettle the present, and create a new and more exciting world for all. “We do not think in boxes,” say Lee and Ra. The founders see a world which will be driven by cross-industry innovation where an electric car can be built from the ground-up. Such a universe brings together fashion/textiles design, digital art, sustainable materials science, AI tech, rocket science and automotive engineering and Metaverse gaming. “We are driven by a passion to discover the unknown and see the world through the eyes of the new generation and beyond. Today, we may be considered a special projects and venture capital company. Yet our vision is set on tomorrow. The future will define us.”
X8’s venture fund is led by Lee-Woong Yeol, Honorable Chairman of Kolon Group, South Korea. A visionary, Lee has invested in a wide array of businesses and ideas with an intent to create a think-tank. He coalesces solutions, services and products of the future.
Other X8 ventures include the following: 1) SLFF Kaimin—a brand by the New York designer Kaimin—whose futuristic cyber goddess looks have been worn by some of the most outlandish women in entertainment including Björk and Lady Gaga. 2) KLAW—a new sneakers collection for the “universal activity of walking”. 3) 1PEACE—a conscientious fashion and textiles brand that upcycles deadstock for new use.