Opening Ceremony stores to close

Opening Ceremony is to shutter its four boutiques this year.On Tuesday, co-founders Carol Lim and Humberto Leon announced that the brand had been acquired by executives at Milan-based company New Guards Group, which also oversees labels including Virgi…

Opening Ceremony is to shutter its four boutiques this year.

On Tuesday, co-founders Carol Lim and Humberto Leon announced that the brand had been acquired by executives at Milan-based company New Guards Group, which also oversees labels including Virgil Abloh’s Off-White, Palm Angels, Heron Preston, and Kirin by Peggy Gou.

Lim and Leon are remaining with the brand as creative directors, but in a lengthy statement posted on the Opening Ceremony Instagram page, they confirmed that the firm’s two stores in New York and boutiques in Tokyo and Los Angeles will shutter.

“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. Our brand takes the beautiful spirit of experimentation, fun, and collaboration embodied in our stores and imbues this energy into the clothing we make,” they wrote. “We know our decision may surprise you and it may be interpreted in many different ways. Ultimately, in this time of immense change in the way that people shop, we still believe in the power of passionate and unique retail. But we also believe in the necessity for change, reflection and an opportunity to refresh. This is a moment of transition for Opening Ceremony and, together with our new partners, we are taking the chance to step back and evaluate the future of our Opening Ceremony retail experience.”

Since launching in 2002, Opening Ceremony has become known for offering an eclectic mix of clothing and accessories, as well as for its collaborations with brands such as Rodarte, Disney, Adidas Originals, and Reebok.

And to conclude their statement, Lim and Leon explained that they are “immensely proud” of what they were able to achieve over the years.

“With our constant desire to reinvent, we will return to creating stores, but with a different mindset and perspective in order to wow people who are self-proclaimed shop-til-we-drops like us,” the pair added. “Our deepest thanks goes to our dedicated employees, without whom Opening Ceremony would not have the humanity, kindness, and spirit of friendship that it is known for.”

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Off-White backer acquires Opening Ceremony

Executives at Off-White backer New Guards Group have acquired Opening Ceremony.Based in Milan, the contemporary luxury fashion production and distribution holding company currently oversees labels including Virgil Abloh’s Off-White, Palm Angels, Heron …

Executives at Off-White backer New Guards Group have acquired Opening Ceremony.

Based in Milan, the contemporary luxury fashion production and distribution holding company currently oversees labels including Virgil Abloh’s Off-White, Palm Angels, Heron Preston, and Kirin by Peggy Gou.

Now, American clothing brand and retailer Opening Ceremony is also set to fall under the umbrella of New Guards Group, with co-founders Carol Lim and Humberto Leon to remain as creative directors.

“Our curiosity and entrepreneurial spirit have been at the centre of Opening Ceremony since we founded the company and our continued search for innovation led us to this partnership with Davide de Giglio and Andrea Grilli, who have created one of the best global brand platforms in existence today,” Leon and Lim said in a statement obtained by The Business of Fashion. “This next step for Opening Ceremony means we get to connect our desire to invent the future and design for our community to a dynamic infrastructure.”

As part of the deal, New Guards Group will own the Opening Ceremony trademark. It remains unclear if its two stores in New York and boutiques in Tokyo and Los Angeles will be affected.

Since launching in 2002, Opening Ceremony has become known for offering an eclectic mix of clothing and accessories, as well as for its collaborations with brands such as Rodarte, Disney, Adidas Originals, and Reebok.

In addition, Leon and Lim served as creative directors of Kenzo from 2011 until their departure in July 2019. Felipe Oliveira Baptista has succeeded the duo at the French label.

Meanwhile, New Guards Group has undergone some changes in recent months too, with the group purchased by bosses at Farfetch for $675 million (£520 million) in August.

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