Off-White backer acquires Opening Ceremony

Humberto Leon and Carol Lim

Executives at Off-White backer New Guards Group have acquired Opening Ceremony.

Based in Milan, the contemporary luxury fashion production and distribution holding company currently oversees labels including Virgil Abloh's Off-White, Palm Angels, Heron Preston, and Kirin by Peggy Gou.

Now, American clothing brand and retailer Opening Ceremony is also set to fall under the umbrella of New Guards Group, with co-founders Carol Lim and Humberto Leon to remain as creative directors.

"Our curiosity and entrepreneurial spirit have been at the centre of Opening Ceremony since we founded the company and our continued search for innovation led us to this partnership with Davide de Giglio and Andrea Grilli, who have created one of the best global brand platforms in existence today," Leon and Lim said in a statement obtained by The Business of Fashion. "This next step for Opening Ceremony means we get to connect our desire to invent the future and design for our community to a dynamic infrastructure."

As part of the deal, New Guards Group will own the Opening Ceremony trademark. It remains unclear if its two stores in New York and boutiques in Tokyo and Los Angeles will be affected.

Since launching in 2002, Opening Ceremony has become known for offering an eclectic mix of clothing and accessories, as well as for its collaborations with brands such as Rodarte, Disney, Adidas Originals, and Reebok.

In addition, Leon and Lim served as creative directors of Kenzo from 2011 until their departure in July 2019. Felipe Oliveira Baptista has succeeded the duo at the French label.

Meanwhile, New Guards Group has undergone some changes in recent months too, with the group purchased by bosses at Farfetch for $675 million (£520 million) in August.

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