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.