Retail in Asia

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New Guards Group acquires Opening Ceremony

opening ceremony

Farfetch-owned New Guards Group (NGG) has acquired cult retailer Opening Ceremony, with the latter announcing it will shutter all physical stores in 2020 as a result of the takeover deal.

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The U.S.-based Opening Ceremony revealed that the Italian group now owns the iconic retailer’s trademark and intellectual property, and will take control of the production and distribution of Opening Ceremony’s in-house line of clothing and accessories, starting from the autumn/winter 2020 season.

Opening Ceremony founders, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, will remain involved with the brand, operating as co-creative directors. Terms of the takeover deal have not yet been disclosed.

Lim and Leon addressed the buyout news, revealing that all Opening Ceremony stores would shutter during 2020: two in New York, one in Tokyo and one in Los Angeles, its original store location.

“Opening Ceremony has expanded and evolved in countless ways since those first years in business. We have grown our own collection, starting from the platform of our first store, into a global Opening Ceremony band for which we have held some of the most ambitious experiential fashion shows imaginable. At the same time, Opening Ceremony stores have been home to remarkable staff, customers and creative people where the wildest experiments in retail took place…this is why its incredibly emotional for us to announce today that we will be closing our Opening Ceremony retail locations sometime in 2020,” said the founders, who established the retailer in September 2002, with the first location bowing in Los Angeles, at 35 Howard Street.

The change comes as part of Opening Ceremony’s new partnership with NGG, continued the note.

“We have made a decision to focus on growing Opening Ceremony…with our new partners, New Guards Group, and expand the designs of Opening Ceremony…we still believe in the power of passionate and unique retail,” added the note.

New Guards Group made headlines in August 2019, when UK high-end fashion retailer Farfetch Group acquired the fellow European luxury group for $675 million.

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Additionally,  NGG said it had acquired Japan’s Ambush brand, adding to its fold of fashion brands Palm Angels and Off-White.