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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.