Iconic Fashion Retailer Opening Ceremony To Close All Stores

Closing ceremony 🙁

Only the good die young. Iconic fashion retailer Opening Ceremony is closing all of its stores — New York, LA, and the fit-out wonderland that is the Tokyo store. A real loss.

More than a shop, OC threw great parties and miscellaneous events, and gave IRL support to good young brands by allowing them to share a podium with legends like Chloe Sevigny and Spike Jonze. Founders Humberto Leon and Carol Lim were never afraid to support a new-comer — they were one of the first to stock now well-known brands like Alexander Wang, Rodarte and Proenza Schouler.

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Dear Opening Ceremony Family, We welcomed our first customers into Opening Ceremony at 35 Howard Street on Sept 1, 2002, a year after downtown New York was changed forever by the destruction of the World Trade Center. We wanted to send a message of love to New York with our company and our big idea to change the way a retail store had been done before. Our dream to connect people from all over the world with positivity, to create a vibrant and inclusive community through self-expression is embodied in the name Opening Ceremony and the idea from where it came, the Olympics. When we began, we took our modest savings and asked our friends to sell their clothes at our store in an area of Soho that had not yet been developed. Brilliant young designers like United Bamboo, Benjamin Cho, Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang, Rodarte and AsFour were juxtaposed with designers from Hong Kong and Brazil who had never sold before in the US. We also made our own first pieces to sell, a diamond sweatshirt at first, which, by wearing it, became a shorthand for “I shopped at Opening Ceremony”. The store became a hangout and a meeting place for so many different visitors and locals who came by to find out what was happening in New York, because you could always get the scoop when you shopped. Opening Ceremony has expanded and evolved in countless ways since those first years in business. We’ve grown our own collection, starting from the platform of our first store, into a global Opening Ceremony brand for which we’ve held some of the most ambitious experiential fashion shows imaginable. At the same time, Opening Ceremony stores have been home to remarkable staff, customers and creative people where the wildest experiments in retail have taken place. Our stores in New York, Los Angeles, London and Tokyo have connected people from around world together and brought so much joy into our lives and to the lives of those who have come through our doors.

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The announcement comes with the news that Opening Ceremony’s trademark is to be sold to New Guards Group, the company behind Off-White. So, while the stores will shut, the OC brand and collection will continue under the new owners.

“We’ve made a decision to focus on growing Opening Ceremony collection and brand with our new partners, New Guards Group, and expand the designs of Opening Ceremony,” Humberto and Carol wrote in a joint statement. “We are stepping back from multi-brand retail, for a moment, so we can come back with an experience that is just as inspiring, filled with love and relevant for the years ahead as Opening Ceremony has been.”

Read the letter in full below.

Image: @openingceremony

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