If you're like most people, when you think Opening Ceremony, you think parade of comical outfits and malfunctioning giant torch mechanisms. But for a rapidly increasing number of style-conscious residents of New York, L.A. and Tokyo (and those who wish they were), Opening Ceremony means cool clothes and the merging of art and retail.
Appropriately, the Olympics provided some inspiration for the shop's founders, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, who launched Opening Ceremony on Howard St. in New York in 2002. It was, it is told, a mission statement from Baron Pierre de Coubertin—whose vision it was to merge sport, global competition and business to create the modern games – that provided the philosophical underpinnings for Leon and Lim's venture. In the first Opening Ceremony, the L.A. natives curated an eclectic collection of domestic and global fashion labels, art, music and other objects of desire and the store was an instant success. Since then, the duo has opened stores in L.A. and Tokyo and just launched store number two in Manhattan, in the city's hipster-approved Ace Hotel ( the launch celebrated during fashion week with a party featuring music by Dirty Projectors).
Every year, the shop focuses on fashion from a different country, bringing in fresh global labels to mingle with chosen U.S.designers, OC's own collection of basics and lines created with stylish collaborators like Chloe Sevigny and Spike Jonze (the store created a furry Where the Wild Things Are collection for the launch of that film). The store's influence is growing- a recent partnership with Levi's saw an OC line of cords, touted by a campaign shot by Ryan McGinley.
See the rest of the 2010 Creativity 50 here.