NEW YORK, United States — Opening Ceremony will close all of its stores this year, co-founders Carol Lim and Humberto Leon said Tuesday. The news follows a sale of the brand's trademark and intellectual property to New Guards Group.
Lim and Leon said they are “stepping back from multi-brand retail” for the moment to focus on growing the “Opening Ceremony collection and brand” with New Guards Group.
The brand’s new owner plans to move production of Opening Ceremony’s in-house line to New Guards’ headquarters in Milan, with Leon and Lim staying on as co-creative directors. The brand will also set up a showroom in Paris, and the site will move to the Farfetch platform. Right now the in-house line only makes up less than 25 percent of overall revenue for the business.
The duo opened their first store in 2002 with their own savings and a small business loan, which eventually became a downtown hangout for New York’s creatives, as well as a launchpad for up-and-coming designers at the time like Proenza Schouler and Alexander Wang.
Opening Ceremony was a pioneer for later brands and retailers, deploying a wide range of innovative marketing strategies like exclusive collaborations and a mix of high-and-low product offerings that are now standard for any fashion brand.
The retailer has four-store locations: its original store on Howard Street along with a shop inside New York’s Ace Hotel, as well as a store on La Cienega Boulevard in Los Angeles and another in Omotesando in Tokyo.
“As children of immigrants who grew up in the suburbs, looking through magazines to learn about what was happening in fashion and culture, we feel incredibly lucky to have been able to even start this company,” said Lim and Leon.