Opening Ceremony, the high-end retailer beloved by millennials, is shuttering all its stores in 2020 — and it's just the latest victim of the retail apocalypse

Opening Ceremony

One fashion industry pioneer has reached the end of an era.

After 18 years, famed high-end retailer Opening Ceremony —
which served as home for many up-and-coming designers, such as
Alexander Wang — revealed on Tuesday that it will be
closing its doors
. The announcement comes on the heels of news
the retailer was sold to New Guards Group
, the same company
that owns
streetwear brand Off-White

In a series of Instagram posts, Opening Ceremony’s cofounders,
Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, shared the news with their loyal fans
and customers. 

“It’s incredibly emotional for us to announce today that we will
be closing our Opening Ceremony retail locations sometime in 2020,”
the duo
“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.”

The Closing Ceremony

The retailer first
opened its doors in 2002
in Lower Manhattan and throughout the
years became a place which highlighted some of the most notable
emerging designers of the day. It has
retail locations
in New York, Los Angeles, and Japan — all of
which are set to close. The retailer sought to mix high-and-low
luxury products in one place, where one could, as noted by Vogue’s
Steff Yotka, buy a $15,000
Rodarte dress
or “handmade
candlesticks imported from Mexico.

As reported by Business of Fashion
, the store also became a
hangout for creatives and artists; industry experts consider it a
pioneer in the retail sphere in that it launched exclusive
collaborations which went on to inspire the next generation of
fashion entrepreneurs. 

“We know our decision may surprise you, and it may be
interpreted in many different ways,” Lim and Leon continued on
“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.”

The production of Opening Ceremony’s in-house line is set to be

moved to New Guards Group’s headquarters in Milan
. The pair
clarified on Instagram that Opening Ceremony will continue to exist
only as a brand, not a retailer, though their in-house brand,

as reported by Business of Fashion
, only makes up less than 25%
of their overall revenue. In addition, Lim and Leon will stay on
as cocreative directors. 

“We are immensely proud of the experience we created through
each of our stores,” the cofounders wrote in their most recent
post regarding the matter. “As children of immigrants who grew up
in the suburbs, looking through magazines to learn about what was
happening in fashion and culture, we feel incredibly lucky to have
been able to even start this company.”

Opening Ceremony now joins high-end retailers like
Henri Bendel
Barneys New York
, which have also closed their doors. Brands
and brick-and-mortar retailers alike are dealing with the changing
tastes of consumers and the rise of e-commerce as well as
direct-to-consumer brands.

the full report at Business of Fashion »

SEE ALSO: Glossier’s
new partnership with Nordstrom proves the luxury department store
remains a favorite for e-commerce brands looking to dabble in
brick-and-mortar, even as other high-end retailers

DON’T MISS: Virgil
Abloh, the luxury designer who pioneered high-end street fashion,
says that trend is ‘definitely gonna die’ next

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Source: FS – All – Entertainment – News
Opening Ceremony, the high-end retailer beloved by millennials, is shuttering all its stores in 2020 — and it's just the latest victim of the retail apocalypse