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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Virgil Abloh wants to represent a generation

Virgil Abloh aspires to represent a generation with his fashion designs.The founder of Off-White and artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear department was first inspired to make clothing more representative after being refused entry to several s…

Virgil Abloh aspires to represent a generation with his fashion designs.

The founder of Off-White and artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear department was first inspired to make clothing more representative after being refused entry to several shows back in 2009 during a visit to Paris Fashion Week with Kanye West.

Back then, Abloh discovered that the industry “wasn’t particularly welcoming”, but he has been driven ever since to make sure young designers and fashion fans aren’t excluded.

“I don’t know how many shows I’ve done since 2016 but it’s been enjoyable to define the space that I would perceivably be put in,” he told Dazed magazine. “My motivation this whole time has been to represent for a generation – I’m still thinking about the kid that couldn’t get into fashion shows.”

Abloh believes streetwear has helped to promote diversity and inclusivity in the business, and has worked together with the likes of Shayne Oliver from Hood by Air to create a “new atmosphere”.

“I’ve never been one that felt like the doors were closing – I’m an optimist so I don’t even recognise that, that’s how I got to where I’m at. I think that what helped it along was streetwear was also a global concept,” the 39-year-old stated.

Despite acknowledging the success of his streetwear, Abloh confessed he was initially disappointed that his clothing was described as that by the press.

“From that frustration, I decided if ‘streetwear’ was gonna be the sign of the times I was gonna define it rather than be defined by it. I needed to do a show to define what ‘streetwear’ could be, and do it with urgency, you know,” he added.

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Virgil Abloh: ‘Working for a fashion house felt like an impossible dream’

Louis Vuitton’s Virgil Abloh never thought he’d be designing for a prestigious fashion house because of his upbringing. The 39-year-old entered the world of international fashion with an internship at Fendi in 2009 before going on to found his own lab…

Louis Vuitton’s Virgil Abloh never thought he’d be designing for a prestigious fashion house because of his upbringing.

The 39-year-old entered the world of international fashion with an internship at Fendi in 2009 before going on to found his own label Off-White in 2013 and become the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear department in March 2018.

But in an interview with Dazed, the designer admitted he never thought he would work for a luxury fashion house.

“To come from designing a graphic T-shirt in 2012 to making it to a house to design a collection… As a young black kid from Rockford, Illinois, from immigrant parents from Ghana, West Africa, that was like, impossible, you know?” he recalled. “Like, categorically not gonna happen in a lifetime. I thought that fashion was one of those industries that would reinforce people feeling that ‘This isn’t for you’, ‘If you don’t have this shirt, you’re not in the club.'”

After his debut fashion show for Louis Vuitton in June 2018, Abloh posted a picture of himself taking his final bow on Instagram and wrote in the caption, “You can do it too.”

Accordingly, he explained in the chat that he wanted to inspire others to reach for seemingly impossible dreams too.

And the fashion star considers that show to be one of the most fulfilling moments of his career because he could use the Louis Vuitton platform to express himself.

“To me it was about making like an art piece of fashion, using the megaphone that is Louis Vuitton, one of the oldest brands in Paris, to have the first models that came out, look like me, dressed in all white on a prism coloured runway show in daylight,” Abloh continued. “I wanted to make a statement and use the clothes to power that and I feel fulfilled that that body of work came out the way it did and when it did.”

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Virgil Abloh predicts death of streetwear over next decade

Virgil Abloh has predicted that the streetwear trend will “die” in the next 10 years.The 39-year-old designer, who is famed for his casual clothing creations for Louis Vuitton menswear and his own Off-White label, made the startling prediction during a…

Virgil Abloh has predicted that the streetwear trend will “die” in the next 10 years.

The 39-year-old designer, who is famed for his casual clothing creations for Louis Vuitton menswear and his own Off-White label, made the startling prediction during an interview with Dazed magazine.

When asked what he thought would happen to the “idea of streetwear” in the next decade, he candidly replied: “I would definitely say it’s gonna die, you know? Like, its time will be up. In my mind, how many more T-shirts can we own, how many more hoodies, how many sneakers?”

Abloh went on to explain that he believed there will be a bigger focus on vintage and recycled clothes.

“I think that like we’re gonna hit this like, really awesome state of expressing your knowledge and personal style with vintage – there are so many clothes that are cool that are in vintage shops and it’s just about wearing them,” he shared.

“I think that fashion is gonna go away from buying a boxfresh something; it’ll be like, ‘Hey I’m gonna go into my archive.'”

His comments about the death of the trend come just days after it was announced Off-White had partnered with the Louvre Museum in Paris to create a streetwear capsule collection inspired by the works of Leonardo da Vinci.

However, Abloh is still intrigued by the possibilities that lay ahead in the next 10 years.

“I’m excited to see what we do in this next chapter, because the strides we made in the last ten years are too insane,” Abloh added.

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Off-White’s Virgil Abloh unveils capsule collection for The Louvre

Off-White’s Virgil Abloh has teamed up with executives at The Louvre on a capsule collection.To mark the launch of the highly anticipated Leonardo da Vinci exhibition at the museum in Paris, Abloh has created a line of clothes that celebrate the life a…

Off-White’s Virgil Abloh has teamed up with executives at The Louvre on a capsule collection.

To mark the launch of the highly anticipated Leonardo da Vinci exhibition at the museum in Paris, Abloh has created a line of clothes that celebrate the life and works of the visionary artist.

“I was fascinated with Leonardo early on – I was in my senior year at Wisconsin, taking an art class,” said Abloh, founder and artistic director of Off-White. “I was super interested not only by his artworks but also by the influence he had in many disciplines besides art: science, engineering, architecture… To me, he symbolises everything the Renaissance was.”

The clothing range features some of Da Vinci’s iconic artworks, such as the Virgin of the Rocks, and Saint Anne, the Virgin Mary, and the Infant Jesus Playing with a Lamb.

However, Abloh has incorporated his own aesthetic into the T-shirt and hoodie designs, adding in Off-White’s signature logos and diamond arrows.

“I want to crash together these two worlds that are seemingly different: fashion and high art. It’s a crucial part of my overall body of work to prove that any place, no matter how exclusive it seems, is accessible to everyone. That you can be interested in expressing yourself through more than one practice and that creativity does not have to be tied to just one discipline. I think that Leonardo da Vinci was maybe the first artist to live by that principle, and I am trying to as well,” the 39-year-old commented.

Items in the line are priced from $355 – $640 (£266- £480). The collection will be available to buy from the Louvre gift shop and online, as well as from select Off-White boutiques.

The new Leonardo da Vinci exhibition runs until 24 February.

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Bottega Veneta’s The Pouch handbag crowned ‘most-wanted’ item of 2019

Bottega Veneta’s popular The Pouch handbag has been named as the “most-wanted” item of 2019.As part of their annual Year in Fashion report, analysts at Lyst have looked at data, queries, page views, and sales metrics across six million fashion products…

Bottega Veneta’s popular The Pouch handbag has been named as the “most-wanted” item of 2019.

As part of their annual Year in Fashion report, analysts at Lyst have looked at data, queries, page views, and sales metrics across six million fashion products from over 12,000 online stores as well as the global media coverage and social media mentions generated by the biggest brands and trends.

As part of this research, they also rounded up the pieces that have driven the biggest spikes over the last 12 months, and crowned The Pouch purse in the top spot.

“Bottega Veneta’s The Pouch bag has sparked more than 10,000 views a month since its launch,” a Lyst representative commented. “Page views increased 297 per cent on Lyst in September. The bag was seen on editors, celebrities, and influencers worldwide; Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Instagrammed it 39 times in the space of three months.”

Since Daniel Lee joined Bottega Veneta in June 2018, the Italian fashion house has undergone a huge revamp, with the designer winning acclaim for his minimalist designs and Stretch sandals, which immediately sold out upon release following the launch of the label’s pre-fall 2019 collection.

Accordingly, the Stretch sandals followed in second place on Lyst’s round-up, with Gucci’s GG logo belt in third, and Jacquemus’ Le Chiquito bag in fourth. Other sought-after pieces included Prada’s logo bucket hat, Louis Vuitton’s Multi Pochette bag, Ganni’s Checked Seersucker Midi Dress, Sandy Liang’s Fleece Jacket, Weekday’s Rowe Sky Blue Jeans, and Gucci’s GG Supreme Messenger bag.

Elsewhere, the Alexander McQueen oversized sneakers topped the list of Hottest Women’s Products in the first quarter of 2019.

“Searched every two minutes on Lyst, they were the brand’s bestselling product this year,” a spokesperson added.

The top collaborations were between Off-White x IKEA, Sacai x Nike, and Reformation x New Balance, with the main breakout brands including Bottega Veneta, Pyer Moss, Jacquemus, Paco Rabanne, Molly Goddard, Richard Quinn, Saks Potts, and Telfar.

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Virgil Abloh back to work at Louis Vuitton

Virgil Abloh is back working at Louis Vuitton after taking some time off to focus on his health.The fashion designer, who serves as creative director of menswear at the French luxury brand and is also the founder of streetwear label Off-White, announce…

Virgil Abloh is back working at Louis Vuitton after taking some time off to focus on his health.

The fashion designer, who serves as creative director of menswear at the French luxury brand and is also the founder of streetwear label Off-White, announced in early September that he would be embarking on a temporary hiatus from his roles as he was having a difficult time recovering from a recent overseas trip.

However, on Monday, Abloh took to Instagram to post a mirror selfie of himself posing in an elevator at the Louis Vuitton headquarters in Paris. He is pictured wearing a red and yellow jacket as well as a baseball cap but did not write anything in the caption.

While he was spending time at home, the 39-year-old missed Off-White’s Paris Fashion Week show and a scheduled public appearance at Vogue’s Forces of Fashion summit. It remains unclear if he will be at the opening of his Figures of Speech exhibition at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia on Friday.

Back in September, Abloh indicated to reporters at Vogue.com that he was suffering from exhaustion following months of hectic fashion shows and travel.

“I was just tired, so I went to the doctor. Ultimately, everything is fine, but the doctor told me, ‘This pace that you’ve sort of pushed your body – to fly all these miles, do all these different projects – is not good for your health,'” the designer explained. “Essentially I’m working from home for the next three months, and in large part all my marketing events I’m cancelling.”

The break also meant Abloh could spend time with his two young children, whom he shares with his wife Shannon Sundberg.

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Off-White tops The Lyst Index’s rankings of hottest brands

Off-White has been crowned as the hottest brand in the world in The Lyst Index’s latest rankings.The label, founded by designer Virgil Abloh in 2012, is known for its stylised streetwear-inspired items which feature the use of quotation marks, zip ties…

Off-White has been crowned as the hottest brand in the world in The Lyst Index’s latest rankings.

The label, founded by designer Virgil Abloh in 2012, is known for its stylised streetwear-inspired items which feature the use of quotation marks, zip ties, and industrial buckles, with celebrity fans including Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Hailey Bieber, JAY-Z, Nicki Minaj, and Rihanna.

Now, researchers have compiled data from the fashion platform Lyst for the third quarter of 2019 and claimed Off-White has come out on top in relation to global Lyst and Google search data, conversion rates and sales, as well as brand and product social media mentions and engagement statistics worldwide.

Balenciaga, helmed by creative director Demna Gvasalia, was the runner-up, while Gucci fell back two spots in comparison to last quarter and landed in third place.

Other luxury brands in the top 10 included Versace, Prada, Valentino, Fendi, Burberry, Saint Laurent, and Vetements, while notable additions to the top 20 this quarter were Bottega Veneta and Loewe.

Since Daniel Lee joined Bottega Veneta in June 2018, the Italian fashion house has undergone a huge revamp, with the designer winning acclaim for his minimalist designs and Stretch sandals, which immediately sold out upon release following the launch of the label’s pre-fall 2019 collection.

“Daniel Lee has brought incredible energy to the evolution of Bottega Veneta and the reaction has been extraordinary,” Dario Gargiulo, chief marketing officer of Bottega Veneta, said of the brand’s transformation. “Free from any desire to become the hottest brand in the world, our focus is on the beauty and power of subtlety. We forego extensive explanation about our brand in favour of simply being visible and present across the current multicultural landscape.”

Among the most popular products were Bottega Veneta’s padded sandals, Adidas Continental 80 sneakers, Jacquemus’ pocket-sized Le Chiquito bag, Paco Rabanne’s reissued 1969 metal shoulder bag, Fendi’s FF motif bikini, and Mansur Gavriel’s cloud print sweater.

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Vera Wang approves of Hailey Bieber teaming wedding dress with sneakers

Vera Wang is happy Hailey Bieber wore sneakers with the dress she designed for her wedding reception. The model walked down the aisle in an off-the-shoulder lace Off-White dress by Virgil Abloh when she got married to Justin Bieber for the second time…

Vera Wang is happy Hailey Bieber wore sneakers with the dress she designed for her wedding reception.

The model walked down the aisle in an off-the-shoulder lace Off-White dress by Virgil Abloh when she got married to Justin Bieber for the second time in South Carolina on 30 September. She later changed into a simple white slip dress by Wang and sneakers to party with guests at the reception afterwards.

And the 70-year-old bridal designer has insisted she approved of Hailey mixing the high-end piece with sportswear.

“I relate to her because I think I’m a teenager,” Wang joked to People. “I’m just very happy that she wore it and she partied in it and she wore it with sneakers and that’s just my kind of deal. It couldn’t have been a better thing for us.

“I was very happy (to dress her) because I adore her style… To me, she’s like a dancer: she has a long neck and back. She wears clothes in her own way and adds her own style to it. And she’s cool.”

Wang previously told Vogue that she was pleased to be involved in the wedding because she has had a “soft spot” for the Baldwin family since she made the outfits when Bieber’s actor uncle Billy married Chynna Phillips in 1995.

“I did her aunt Chynna’s wedding when she married Billy Baldwin many years ago,” Wang recalled. “That’s how I knew them then… Hailey’s dad (Stephen) came to the fittings, and it was really lovely and nice to catch up. I have a soft spot for the Baldwin family, so to even play a small part in Hailey’s wedding felt like full circle for me and was so lovely.”

In addition to the Off-White and Vera Wang numbers, Bieber, 22, also wore a silky halter dress by Ralph & Russo, a Vivienne Westwood minidress, and a Celine leather jacket emblazoned with the word “Wife” in chrome studs during the wedding celebration.

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