Opening Ceremony, the renowned fashion brand, may have closed its Soho boutique last year, but that hasn’t hindered its success. Founders Carol Lim and Humberto Leon have just launched a new collection that highlights their ingenuity and artistic collaboration with a wallpaper company. Despite being located on opposite coasts, this latest collection seamlessly blends West Coast psychedelic vibes with downtown New York cool.

This collection is the second one since Opening Ceremony was acquired by Italy’s New Guards Group, the owners of Off/White and Country of Milan. Lim and Leon have been keeping busy in recent months, with Leon even opening a family restaurant in Los Angeles while juggling the design process for the fall collection. Throughout their careers, both designers have consistently pushed the boundaries of traditional runway shows by incorporating art movies, dance performances, and theater into their events.

During a recent interview, Lim and Leon discussed their partnership with New Guards Group and their production process in Italy. They showered praise on their new partners, describing them as “production wizards,” and expressed their excitement about having their collections manufactured entirely in Italy. The factories are situated near Venice, in an area renowned for its scenic vineyards. The duo also revealed that despite living in different cities, their creative process is natural and seamless. They rely on frequent phone conversations, fabric shipments, and a shared understanding of each other’s ideas.

When asked about their foray into the film industry, Leon hinted at negotiations, suggesting that they are continuously exploring unconventional ways to showcase fashion. They have always veered away from traditional fashion calendars, opting instead to base their shows on cultural elements beyond the confines of the catwalk. Lim added that they prioritize a humanistic approach and avoid hosting events that don’t align with their vision.

The look-book for their latest collection was shot at the B&B Italian factory in Lombardy. The inspiration for this collection stemmed from the experience of being confined to their homes during the pandemic. Lim and Leon ingeniously repurposed everyday materials, such as fitted sheets and comforters, transforming them into leather garments. The standout Heartwood print in the collection is the result of their artist collaboration with the wallpaper print company Calico. Additionally, they worked with illustrator Bráulio Amado to create new logos inspired by mattresses.

Leon also took the opportunity to share the news of his family’s new restaurant, Chifa, located in Eagle Rock, Los Angeles. Originally intended to be a small project, Leon ended up designing the entire space himself. Lim and Leon also discussed the future of Opening Ceremony’s retail presence, acknowledging the significance of online platforms while subtly hinting at the possibility of brick-and-mortar stores.

Although closing their Soho boutique last year was unfortunate timing due to the pandemic, Lim and Leon view it as the start of a new chapter for Opening Ceremony. They are eager to reintroduce elements of the brand’s DNA and continue to showcase their unique and creative vision within the fashion world.

Links relevant to the article:

1. New Guards Group
2. Calico Wallpaper