The first death of the decade has arrived: Opening Ceremony announced it will be closing its stores sometime in 2020. The retailer, opened by Humberto Leon and Carol Lim in 2002, pushed boundaries and became a fixture for designers both established and emerging. Situated on Howard Street in SoHo and a stone’s throw away from Chinatown, their flagship was a Downtown touchstone for over 10 years. Chloë Sevigny called it the department store for young people.
The company isn’t closing for good. “We are stepping back from multi-brand retail, for a moment, so we can come back with an experience that is just as inspiring,” the company posted on Instagram on Tuesday. The announcement comes on the heels of news that Opening Ceremony had been acquired by New Guards Group, the conglomerate which also owns Heron Preston and Off-White.
Nonetheless the shuttering of O.C. storefronts nationwide signals the end of an era – good or bad. Not everyone was a fan: many argued that the retailer became too trend obsessed and ultimately contributed to the rise of “hypebeast culture” that prevailed during the 2010s. However, a quintessential component of the New York City experience are unique retailers you can’t find anywhere else.
As digital marketplaces continue to swallow IRL shopping experiences, the future of pre-Instagram brands remains unclear. But the O.C. had something few influencers and fashion bloggers have today: they were actually cool.
She said “what’s the point of moving to New York if Opening Ceremony is closing?”
— amya (@ghosstontape) January 15, 2020
RIP to a real one. We’ll miss the mega totes.