Opening Ceremony is an opulent store if ever there was one. It was founded in 2002 by two college friends, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, who are now also Creative Directors of the Parisian label Kenzo. It was quickly established as a sanctuary to share their adoration of fashion, art, and travel. Thankfully, it’s now somewhere we can all enjoy. What started out as a store on a quiet street in downtown New York has since evolved into an outpost in Los Angeles, a wholesale showroom, a department store in Tokyo, their own clothing line, a blog, and a fully-fledged e-commere site. It’s truly a spectacle to behold.
Opening Ceremony takes its name and inspiration from the Olympic Games, adopting a global approach to all things retail. This store started out as selling clothes designed by friends of the owners, and clothing they themselves brought home from numerous shopping trips overseas. Now they stock both iconic and emerging designers, and have a line of their own. One of my favourite pieces I saw in-store was the metallic/shiny bag with their own brand logo (yes I’m a magpie and a lover of all things shiny). Opening Ceremony has collaborated with lots of brands over the years such as; Topshop, Rodarte, Maison Martin Margiela and Pendleton to name a few. They continue to grow their principles of exploration and friendship, creating an atmosphere that reaches far beyond the realms of fashion.
What intrigues me about Opening Ceremony is that they present an alternative type of fashion, their aesthetic and touches of quirkiness make this polished boutique a destination for everyone in the know. Presenting a street-wear influenced selection of clothing with androgynous twists and whimsical avant-garde pieces, the careful edit of ready-to-wear and accessories makes this store feel especially diverse. The Soho store is spread over two adjoining buildings, and is the department store we never knew we needed. It’s not hard to see why it’s been called the most influential retailer of its decade.