Opening Ceremony, the well-known retailer known for its edgy fashion and collaborations, has been acquired by Farfetch’s New Guards Group (NGG). NGG, which already backs brands like Palm Angels and Off-White, now holds the rights to Opening Ceremony’s trademark and intellectual property. The specifics of the deal have not been fully disclosed, but it is reported that NGG will take over the production and distribution of Opening Ceremony’s in-house clothing and accessories line starting with the FW20 season.
Despite the acquisition, Opening Ceremony founders Humberto Leon and Carol Lim will remain closely involved with the brand as co-creative directors. They will also maintain ownership of Opening Ceremony’s retail business, which includes its stores in New York, Tokyo, and Los Angeles.
Since it was founded in 2002, Opening Ceremony has established itself as a trendy and forward-thinking retailer. It has collaborated with numerous top brands, including Rodarte, Maison Margiela, Vans, and Adidas Originals. In 2019 alone, the retailer launched several successful collaborations, capitalizing on trends such as athlete-backed apparel, sneaker culture, and gender-neutral fashion.
NGG’s acquisition of Opening Ceremony follows its recent acquisition of Ambush, a Japanese jewelry label-turned-streetwear brand. NGG itself was acquired by online retailer Farfetch in August 2019 for a total of $675 million. Despite experiencing a net loss in the third quarter of 2019, Farfetch saw significant growth in revenue and gross merchandise value (GMV), largely due to the New Guards acquisition. The company’s digital platform GMV increased by nearly 38% to $420.3 million.