A visit to Opening Ceremony for many people is the retail experience dream, for me, that was realised during a visit to the very trendy backstreets of Tokyo’s Harajuku suburb. With a slew of established as well as up-and-coming brands, cool streetwear is seen poking out of nooks and crannies of the five-storey boutique, revolving around a graphic printed staircase. Each store across the globe is different but only one day after the purchase of Opening Ceremony by New Guard’s Group was revealed, it was quickly announced that the company would see out the closure of all retail stores “sometime in 2020.”
Whilst we will say goodbye to a shopping experience, it is not all bad news. The sudden move will reportedly make way for co-founders Humberto Leon and Carol Lim to focus on the in-house, namesake, line. While the collection has come with expansive ranges and even runway events, it could be argued that from a design perspective, it has taken a backseat for the growth of cult collaborations and maintaining the retail stores. That will soon change.
View this post on Instagram
This is why it’s incredibly emotional for us to announce today that we will be closing our Opening Ceremony retail locations sometime in 2020. 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. 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. We are stepping back from multi-brand retail, for a moment, so we can come back with an experience that is just as inspiring, filled with love and relevant for the years ahead as Opening Ceremony has been.
Leon and Lim’s statement confirms this, to “focus on growing [the] Opening Ceremony collection and brand with our new partners, New Guards Group, and expand the designs of Opening Ceremony.”
After eight years, the design duo left KENZO in mid-2019 to focus on their founded brand. Whilst Opening Ceremony will be most likely stocked on NGG’s parent company, Farfetch, it doesn’t mean the end of the retail venture forever with the duo assuring fans and customers that “we will return to creating stores, but with a different mindset and perspective.”
We’re looking to copping new-era threads from Opening Ceremony soon.