Looks like it’s grand closing for Opening Ceremony. The infamous brand will close all of its stores this year, co-founders Carol Lim and Humberto Leon said Tuesday.

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Dear Opening Ceremony Family, We welcomed our first customers into Opening Ceremony at 35 Howard Street on Sept 1, 2002, a year after downtown New York was changed forever by the destruction of the World Trade Center. We wanted to send a message of love to New York with our company and our big idea to change the way a retail store had been done before. Our dream to connect people from all over the world with positivity, to create a vibrant and inclusive community through self-expression is embodied in the name Opening Ceremony and the idea from where it came, the Olympics. When we began, we took our modest savings and asked our friends to sell their clothes at our store in an area of Soho that had not yet been developed. Brilliant young designers like United Bamboo, Benjamin Cho, Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang, Rodarte and AsFour were juxtaposed with designers from Hong Kong and Brazil who had never sold before in the US. We also made our own first pieces to sell, a diamond sweatshirt at first, which, by wearing it, became a shorthand for “I shopped at Opening Ceremony”. The store became a hangout and a meeting place for so many different visitors and locals who came by to find out what was happening in New York, because you could always get the scoop when you shopped. Opening Ceremony has expanded and evolved in countless ways since those first years in business. We’ve grown our own collection, starting from the platform of our first store, into a global Opening Ceremony brand for which we’ve 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 have taken place. Our stores in New York, Los Angeles, London and Tokyo have connected people from around world together and brought so much joy into our lives and to the lives of those who have come through our doors.

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“It’s incredibly emotional for us to announce today that we will be closing our Opening Ceremony retail locations sometime in 2020,” the brand’s founders, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon wrote. “We’ve made a decision to focus on growing Opening Ceremony collection and brand… (which) takes the beautiful spirit of experimentation, fun, and collaboration embodied in our stores and imbues this energy into the clothing we make.”

This news follows the acquisition of Opening Ceremony by Italian fashion company New Guards Group, owned by Farfetch. Announced yesterday, the group, which also owns Off-White, went onto state its plans to relocate Opening Ceremony’s in-house production line to Milan and move the retailer’s website to Farfetch. 

Opening Ceremony opened the doors of its Howard Street location in New York on Sept. 1, 2002, with an Olympics-inspired name and the idea to highlight emerging downtown brands alongside designers from other countries that had never sold in the U.S. before. In addition to its unique and influential concept and offering, Opening Ceremony became known for simply being a cool place to hang out.