Opening Ceremony, something of a cool-girl shopping Mecca in Los Angeles, New York and Tokyo, opened its pop-up shop in London’s Covent Garden today.
‘We’ve had a week to pull this together,’ co-founder Humberto Leon told us in-store Thursday morning. ‘It’s amazing because it has transformed so much from what it used to be. We wanted to create a blank canvas for the product to speak for itself.’
The latest addition to the OC retail empire hews to its predecessors’ ethos as a ‘multifaceted retail environment’, with site-specific touches from London-based creatives. Faye Toogood created low-impact display fixtures using stacks of carpet samples and art and fashion book dealer Claire de Rouen installed some of her prize wares downstairs.
There are rails upon rails of premium designer-wear from Proenza Schouler, Kenzo (which Leon and Lim design) and Maison Michel, punctuated by more accessible pieces displayed, candy-shop-style, in clear glass jars arrayed from ceiling to floor. Add to that the neon panels flying overhead, and the impression given is of an uplifting, dynamic shopping space, where the shop assistants’ smiles are as bright as the decor.
Leon and collaborator Carol Lim have longed to expand to London for years, he said—so much so that they plan to open a permanent location just next door this autumn.
‘London to me feels like a really special place,’ he said. ‘There are so many great young designers here that we’re supporting in the shop that it’s a great time to be in London. Seeing people on the streets is super-inspirational.’
This summer seemed a particularly apt time to make the move. Perhaps not surprisingly for a brand that took its name from the hottest-ticket event at the London 2012 Games, Leon said that he and Lim love the Olympics—and yes, they’re attending that other opening ceremony.
‘We’ve always used the Olympics as an inspiration,’ he said, explaining that his team takes care to introduce brands and designers from new countries every year.
‘We try to keep this as a discovery zone. No matter how much you know the store and the brand list that we carry, there is inevitably going to be something that surprises you.... If I came to shop here, I’d be really excited.’