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Fashion in Hong Kong and China

Esprit and Opening Ceremony team up on ’90s-inspired streetwear collection

Having been influenced by Esprit’s style before they entered the business, Opening Ceremony founders Carol Lim and Humberto Leon have crafted more than 40 colourful items that recall Esprit’s ’90s heyday but with a high fashion twist

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 25 September, 2016, 7:00pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 September, 2016, 5:49pm

Luxury retail may be experiencing a slump in Hong Kong, but high street labels are pulling out all the stops, with new initiatives and exclusives to keep the city’s shoppers spending.

Last week, fast fashion chain H&M launched its K-Fashion Limited Collection, which is inspired by Seoul’s funky street style. Available exclusively in Asia, the 30-piece collection is quirky, with oversized sweatshirts and T-shirts covered in graphic lines and cartoons of Mickey Mouse and Snoopy. There is an edgier side to the offerings, too – mid-length denim trousers, skirts and slouchy sweaters with 1990s-inspired silhouettes that are designed to be worn layered, grunge-style.

Also channelling the ’90s is Hong Kong-based clothing giant Esprit, which has teamed up with New York-based retailer Opening Ceremony, founded by Kenzo designers Carol Lim and Humberto Leon. The duo have an eye for what’s hip, reflected in their designs and their stores, which are known for a cool and eclectic mix of high and low fashion.

The collaboration is a personal one for the designers, who first discovered Esprit while growing up in California.

“Esprit is a brand we grew up loving. Its history resonates with Opening Ceremony – we both have roots in California and embrace and have fun with our communities. We loved the ease and vibrancy of the brand when it first started, and that spirit was what we wanted to bring back to life through our collaboration,” say Lim and Leon.

The line features 40 cool and casual styles for men and women (including accessories), many of which reference the brand’s heyday during the ’80s and ’90s. Expect plenty of colour, as retro favourites such as Esprit’s multicoloured logo make a comeback on T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies and accessories.

Leon and Lim have added their own high-fashion twist to the collection by including silhouettes such as jackets and dresses that can be customised (fitted or draped). Many are decorated with bold and graphic patterns – such as windowpane, graph paper and Dalmatian prints – adding a whimsical touch.

“We’ve added in details like reversibility, playfulness, and innovative fabrics that

are Opening Ceremony signatures. We love the reversible pieces like the trench coat and knitwear. The logo hoodies and accessories are iconic styles to both Opening Ceremony and Esprit, and we can’t wait to wear them again,” the pair say.

The collection is available at selected retailers worldwide, including I.T in Hong Kong, and online at openingceremony.com.