To say that I'm excited for the Opening Ceremony pop-up shop to hit London's Covent Garden is quite the understatement. When the news broke back in April, co-founders Humberto Leon and Carol Lim confirmed that the timing of the launch was a deliberate step to tie in with the Olympics. What we didn't know then is that their interest in this year's games doesn't end there.
Yesterday the New York store released this first image of a collaboration they've been working on with Adidas. The preview shows a glimpse of a unique collection of Olympic-inspired pieces that they will released to help celebrate the Games. The line reportedly features everything from printed swimwear to blazers and jelly sandals and will be available in the pop-up store when it opens on July 19.
2012 is proving to be a big year for Opening Ceremony. This year marks their 10th anniversary, recently we reported that the store is coming to London this summer and today WWD confirmed that it will launch a fashion and culture magazine this August.
'As magazine fanatics, O.C. founder Humberto Leon and myself are aiming to create a collectible publication for a new generation, something beautiful and special n the vein of Benetton’s ‘Colors,’ Comme des Garçons’ ‘Six’ and Joe McKenna’s ‘Joe',' co-founder Carol Lim said in an internal memo. 'We want to make a magazine that will appeal to kids in Nebraska as much as industry people.' The magazine will be called OC and each issue will be based around a theme, the first of which is a tribute to the Olympics. Leading photographers like Tim Barber and Bruce Weber have already signed up to contribute.
With the Olympics around the corner, it was only a matter of time before stores and brands decided to come up with ways to cash in and if there's anyone that we wouldn't mind doing it, it's Opening Ceremony. Yesterday the brand confirmed it will be sell brands like Pamela Love and Proenza Schouler in a special pop-up shop in on King Street in London's Convent Garden ahead of the Olympics opening ceremony.
But it's not all just one big publicity stunt. The decision to create the pop-up is their baby step before introducing itself to British consumers by opening a permanent space at 35 King Street later on this year. 'Bringing Opening Ceremony to Covent Garden is an important next step in the growth of our company,' Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, co-founders of the retailer, told WWD. 'In the last 10 years since we first opened our doors on Howard Street in New York, Opening Ceremony has expanded to Los Angeles and Tokyo, but we have had our hearts set on London since the beginning. Covent Garden is an historic, global shopping destination and we're looking forward to what Opening Ceremony will add to its exciting future.'
Humberto Leon and Carol Lim are known for working on great collaborations in their roles at Opening Ceremony. Kenzo fans are getting the fruits of that now too as the designers, who are also creative directors at Kenzo, already have several partnerships planned for the brand.
First up is Vans. Yesterday this image of their collaboration with the company finally dropped. The collection features seven different colour combinations that tap into the net print that they used in their S/S12 collection. 'Vans is one of the iconic American brands and we liked the idea of infusing this bit of American style into the house of Kenzo,' the duo stated. According to WWD prices begin at 90 euros, which might seem on the pricey side for Vans but are pretty affordable as designer trainers go. Pick them up from mid-May at Kenzo stores as well as Colette, Harvey Nichols, Lane Crawford and Opening Ceremony.
It's never easy stepping into another designer's shoes, especially at a big fashion house, so the stakes were high this week as Humberto Leon and Carol Lim showed their first collection at Kenzo. The Opening Ceremony bosses were an unexpected appointment for the role but that's no reflection on their ability as designers at all. After all, over the years they've carved out a strong business of their own and for the brand's S/S12 collection the pair have done really well.
The collection had a youthful feeling, which was spot on considering the shake up with their price points, as they move into the contemporary market. Prints - in diamond shapes and birds - dominated the collection on maxi dresses, silk blouses, extra long visors and silk high waisted palazzo pants. Colours were varied coming in red, blue, off-white, green, orange and yellow and textures alternated from heavy fabrics, which felt far too heavy for spring, on outerwear to more lightweight styles on tops, clingy printed shorts and relaxed zip-up anoraks. Shape was also an area of focus the duo. Like at Badgley Mischka and Vera Wang tops came in peplum styles and collars and the bottom of jackets came in rounded styles and trousers were often volumous with one pair coming in cinched at the ankles.
Big changes are taking place at Kenzo at the moment. This week the brand announced that they have brought the duo behind Opening Ceremony to serve as joint creative directors at the brand, succeeding Antonio Marras. Fans of the American chain should not despair as the Humberto Leon and Carol Lim have both confirmed that they will continue their work at Opening Ceremony and will now simply split their time between Paris and New York.
"Humberto and Carol will bring their fresh creative talent and innovative approach to Kenzo to rejuvenate this iconic brand," Pierre-Yves Roussel, chairman and CEO of LVMH's fashion division, explained. "I am confident that they will leverage the unique contemporary & lifestyle spirit of the Brand to position it ideally for an ambitious development."
Carol Lim, CEO of Opening Ceremony, Ashley Olsen, Humberto Leon, Creative Director of Opening Ceremony, Mary-Kate Olsen
Japan was the place to be today as Opening Ceremony hosted a party to celebrate the brand's new flagship store in Tokyo. Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Alexander Wang and Erin Wasson were all in attendance.