Skip to main content

Fashion’s First Deal of 2020? Opening Ceremony Reportedly Acquired by New Guards Group

New Guards Group has acquired Opening Ceremony for an undisclosed amount.

Farfetch Ltd.-owned New Guards plans to take over production of Opening Ceremony’s in-house line. While terms of the transaction were not disclosed, Opening Ceremony founders Humberto Leon and Carol Lim are expected to remain as co-creative directors.

Opening Ceremony acts as a brand, retailer and collaborator. It currently operates four stores, although the status of those locations could not immediately be learned. Once a single-store operation in downtown Manhattan in 2002, Opening Ceremony at one point maintained roughly 400 wholesale doors but then seemed unable to grow its business.

The founders brought in investor Berkshire Partners in 2014 but bought back the private equity firm’s shares last year. A plan to expand the store count failed to materialize. Opening Ceremony has forged  a number of collaborations with partners ranging from Vans and Columbia Sportswear to Marmot and Hoka One One.

New Guards Group, the exclusive licensee for streetwear innovator Off-White, was acquired by Farfetch last August in a cash and stock deal valued at $675 million. At the time, Farfetch said the deal would facilitate a transition into design and production, and foster a global technology platform for luxury fashion. Founded in 2015, New Guards also holds licenses for streetwear brands Palm Angels, Marcelo Burlon County of Milan and Heron Preston.

Farfetch’s aim has been to use expert design capabilities to build the brands of the future–labels that can leverage digital channels to engage a global community, offer best-in-class design and manufacturing, and execute direct-to-consumer global online distribution complemented by a wholesale presence in select physical boutiques.

News of the acquisition was first reported Monday by Business of Fashion.