About Us

Opening Ceremony was founded in 2002 by two friends from UC Berkeley, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, as a place to share their passions for travel, art, and fashion. Inspired by a trip to Hong Kong, the two decided to leave their jobs in corporate fashion to realize their unique dream. What began as a single store on a quiet street in downtown New York is now a global community with outposts in New York and Los Angeles, a department store in Tokyo, a wholesale showroom, an in-house clothing line, a blog, and an e-commerce site.

Taking its name and mission statement from the modern Olympic Games, founded by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, Opening Ceremony adopts a multinational approach to retail. In addition to stocking both iconic and emerging homegrown designers, every year OC showcases the spirit and merchandise of a visiting country, transforming each store into a marketplace for exotic souvenirs and international talent.

Today, OC continues to grow according to its founding principles of exploration and friendship, working with a family of contributors to forge a creative environment that reaches far beyond the fashion world. Over the years, Opening Ceremony has collaborated with brands including Rodarte, Topshop, Pendleton, and Maison Martin Margiela, and has become known for its projects with creatives like Spike Jonze, Terence Koh, and Chloë Sevigny. In 2011, Carol and Humberto embarked on a new journey as the creative directors of Kenzo, taking the storied French fashion house into a colorful new chapter.

ABOUT OPENING CEREMONY NEW YORK

Opening Ceremony New York was the first store opened by Carol and Humberto and remains the heart and soul of OC. Located at the intersection of Soho and Chinatown in downtown New York, 35 Howard Street sits at the center of a buzzing creative neighborhood. Refurbished by Carol, Humberto, and their friends and family, the store was the first instance of the DIY ethos that has defined OC ever since.

OCNY officially opened its doors in September 2002, but not before Carol and Humberto had thrown one of their now legendary parties in the space. From providing a backroom hangout for OC friends in the early days to staging an in-store Ratatat concert in 2004 and a 72-hour retail marathon in 2008 for the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, OCNY has always doubled as a clubhouse for artists, designers, friends, family, and anyone who shares the OC spirit.

Today, OCNY is comprised of two stores. The second space, located next-door at 33 Howard Street, houses menswear by brands including Acne, Band of Outsiders, Kenzo, Jeremy Scott, and Opening Ceremony. The original store now occupies four stories of 35 Howard Street and features a shoe gallery in the basement, a kid’s corner, a bookshop, and four floors of womenswear. Brands stocked at 35 Howard Street include established designers like Alexander Wang, Proenza Schouler, Rodarte, Patrik Ervell, and Pamela Love, as well as a range of up-and-coming talents. Both OCNY stores also play host to OC’s annual visiting country, showcasing the most creative and colorful designers of the year’s chosen destination. With constantly evolving store displays, visiting OCNY is always an act of exploration. Zines, souvenirs, and art installations make every shopping trip feel like a voyage of discovery.

ABOUT OPENING CEREMONY LOS ANGELES

Opening Ceremony opened its Los Angeles store in April 2007, on La Cienega Boulevard in West Hollywood. Located in Charlie Chaplin’s former dance studio, the sprawling two-floor space was designed to echo the Southern California mall culture of Carol and Humberto’s teenage years. The store represented both a new chapter and a homecoming for OC, and continues to give off the laid-back vibes of its founders’ home state.

Downstairs, OCLA’s expansive shop floor stocks a full selection of Opening Ceremony brands. Upstairs, Carol and Humberto’s mini-mall concept is played out with a series of designer shop-in-shops. Brands including Acne, Mayle, Topshop, Alexander Wang, Band of Outsiders, and D.A.P. have occupied individual shop spaces designed to showcase each brand’s aesthetic. Also unique to OCLA is the Little House of Accessories. The cute clapboard cabin houses shoes, bags, baubles, and a special collection of estate jewelry curated by Carrie Imberman of New York’s legendary Kentshire boutiques. OCLA is also an outpost of broader OC culture on the West Coast. The store has hosted an inflatable art installation by Spike Jonze—filmed by Gia Coppola—a Moroccan bazaar, Fashion’s Night Out, and countless barbecues.

ABOUT OPENING CEREMONY TOKYO

In April 2013, Opening Ceremony opened a brand new flagship store on Cats Alley in Tokyo’s Omotesando neighborhood, with help from special guest Hello Kitty. Replacing the original Opening Ceremony Tokyo flagship in Shibuya, opened in 2009, the Omotesando store occupies a four-story, 13,000-square-foot building designed to encompass the full range of the OC universe. Located on a major thoroughfare for Tokyo street fashion, the store celebrates the city’s eclectic style with four themed floors featuring bright Ben Day–inspired graphics and painted animal-shaped display cases. To celebrate the Omotesando opening, brands including Kenzo, Rodarte, Pamela Love, Peter Jensen, and Band of Outsiders created exclusive product for the store. In addition, Opening Ceremony debuted a collaborative collection with Japanese model and actress Kiko Mizuhara. OC’s own men’s and women’s collections as well as collaborations with Chloë Sevigny, Yoko Ono, adidas Originals, DKNY, and G.V.G.V. are also carried at the store.

Opening Ceremony’s second Tokyo outpost, located in the city’s Shinjuku train station, reflects OC’s love affair with travel. Spread over two floors, the store is curated in true Opening Ceremony style, stocking brands from around the world as well as a unique selection of exclusive items. On the first floor, a one-stop commuter shop provides visitors with an A-Z of travel essentials, from snacks and magazines to a range of customized OC goodies.

ABOUT OPENING CEREMONY AT ACE HOTEL

Tucked into the lobby of the Ace Hotel in Midtown New York is Opening Ceremony’s very own twist on a hotel gift shop, stocked with hand-picked travel essentials from Carol and Humberto's international adventures, as well as a curated mix of men’s and women’s fashion. Catering to hotel guests and local New Yorkers alike, Opening Ceremony at Ace features the entire Criterion Film Collection and sundries and toiletries like Haribo candy, apothecary items, and Comme des Garçons fragrances.

On the men's side of the store, shoppers can find the latest arrivals from Kenzo, Acne Studios, and Vault by Vans. The women's side features Alexander Wang, Kenzo, and Opening Ceremony, alongside special in-house collaborations. Since opening in February 2010, Opening Ceremony at Ace has become a favorite shopping destination among locals and a welcomed introduction to the OC brand for curious travelers.

ABOUT OPENING CEREMONY SHOWROOM

Opening Ceremony Showroom was founded in 2003 and represents a range of both international and domestic designers. Mirroring the spirit of the company, the showroom was created to bring lesser known brands to a wider market. Through travel, the showroom has developed relationships with brands from around the world, offering a platform for these designers to grow their own businesses. Represented brands are commonly stocked at Opening Ceremony stores before entering the showroom, allowing the showroom to provide honest feedback from a customer perspective. Opening Ceremony also operates satellite showrooms in Paris and Los Angeles four times a year to offer our designers exposure to international markets.

Opening Ceremony Showroom is continually interested in working with new collections.

Opening Ceremony Showroom
202 Centre Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10013

Tel. (212) 226-1885
E-mail: showroom-staff@openingceremony.com