Another influential New York fashion retail institution is approaching its final days. On Tuesday, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon announced in a letter to customers that all physical locations of Opening Ceremony — the brand and retailer they founded in 2002 — would be closing sometime this year.
This follows Monday’s news that the company, which operates four multi-brand stores in New York, Los Angeles, London, and Tokyo, had been acquired by New Guards Group, a Milan-based holding company that controls brands like Off-White and Heron Preston. The terms of the deal indicate that New Guards only acquired Opening Ceremony’s trademark and IP, intending to take over production of its in-house line. In their letter, Lim and Leon indicated plans to focus on the design of the latter.
“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,” Lim and Leon wrote, also hinting that they could return to physical retail in some form in the future. “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.”