Opening Ceremony is shuttering all of its stores, the brand’s co-founders and co-creative directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon announced today.
Opening Ceremony, which was acquired this week by New Guards Group, will close its retail outposts — including locations in London, New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo — by year’s end. It will shift from being a multi-brand retailer to focusing solely on the Opening Ceremony brand.
“Our brand takes the beautiful spirit of experimentation, fun and collaboration embodied in our stores and imbues this energy into the clothing we make,” Lim and Leon wrote in a statement. “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.”
News broke Monday that New Guards Group, a streetwear-focused firm that licenses brands, including Off-White, Palm Angels and Heron Preston, has purchased the trademark and intellectual property for Opening Ceremony. Leon and Lim are expected stay on as co-creative directors; financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.
Leon and Lim opened their first outpost in New York’s SoHo neighborhood in 2002 with the “dream to connect people from all over the world with positivity, to create a vibrant and inclusive community through self-expression,” they wrote in their note. Opening Ceremony has had a slew of high-profile shoe collaborations over the years, with brands such as Birkenstock, Vans and Minnetonka.
Leon and Lim said they have plans to return to brick-and-mortar retail in the future “but with a different mindset and perspective.”
By Ella Chochrek / FW News