Opening Ceremony

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 30 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 30 March, 2008, 12:00am

Where? Opening Ceremony is on Howard Street in New York's SoHo district. The neighbourhood is full of chic boutiques, designer flagships and hip restaurants, so don't be surprised if you run into incognito supermodels and celebrities as well as busloads of tourists visiting the area.

Who? The store was opened in 2002 by Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, both of whom have had fashion experience in the luxury sector. Leon was a visual director at Burberry while Lim was a merchandise planner for Bally. The duo conceived the idea of the store during a trip to Hong Kong and, inspired by the spirit of the Olympic Games, decided upon the name Opening Ceremony.

Fashion finds: look for men's and women's indie designer brands from around the world with new labels constantly being added to the racks. Alexandre Herchcovitch, Cloak, F-Troupe, Hope, Hussein Chalayan, Mary Ping, Rachel Comey, Slow and Steady Wins the Race, United Bamboo and Nom de Guerre, as well as a selection from high street labels such as Topshop, have all made an appearance. Leon and Lim co-design an in-house line, also called Opening Ceremony, and recently had actress Chloe Sevigny collaborate on a collection with them.

The vibe: clothing racks line one long wall of the narrow, rectangular space; dressing rooms line the other. Pale grey, raw wood flooring is juxtaposed with blond wood display cases and the walls are painted white, tan and a royal blue. A large crystal chandelier takes centre stage, suspended from the ultra-high ceiling.

The crowd: too cool for school.

Opening Ceremony is at 35 Howard Street, New York, the United States, tel: 1 212 219 2688.