NEW YORK — Consumers got their first exposure to COS, a sister brand to H&M, through a pop-up shop at Opening Ceremony’s Howard Street store here and openingceremony.us, beginning Friday. The shop will be in place for one month.
This story first appeared in the October 10, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
COS, whose prices start where H&M’s leave off, will break into the U.S. in the spring with a store at 129 Spring Street in SoHo.
A brand for men and women, COS offers modern, stylish and timeless collections produced from materials including leather, fine suiting and cashmere.
COS’ wide product range is divided into different concepts such as fashion essentials, reinvented classics and latest trends.
Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, cofounders of Opening Ceremony, explained the decision to do the pop-up as a chance to offer something not seen in the U.S.
“We see COS as a completely separate brand from H&M,” Lim and Leon said. “COS is a fashion-industry favorite for those who often travel to London and Paris and haven’t been able to get the collection in the U.S. until now. We’re excited to share our love of this brand with our New York customers for the first time.”
Lim and Leon pointed out that they had similar success when Opening Ceremony sold Topshop in 2006 before the retailer established a flagship in the U.S.
COS is not creating special products for the Opening Ceremony pop-up, but Lim said, “It’s definitely something to consider for the future.”
Opening Ceremony has another H&M connection, albeit unrelated to the COS pop-up. Minju Kim, the winner of H&M’s annual design competition, will have her collection sold at Opening Ceremony stores in New York and Los Angeles. “We discovered Minju Kim among recent Royal Academy graduates this past January when we visited the Academy,” Lim said. “She subsequently won the H&M award.”
During New York Fashion Week, Opening Ceremony held a pop-up market at Pier 57, future home of the SuperPier, on Hudson River Park. Dubbed Opening Ceremony BTW (By the Water), the pop-ups were staged in shipping containers. DKNY Exclusively for Opening Ceremony and Rihanna for River Island were among the brands represented.
“Creating pop-up shops allows us to explore other kinds of retail formats,” said Lim. Opening Ceremony has committed to opening an anchor store at the SuperPier in 2015. “We have many ideas on what retail can be and we like to create memorable experiences for our customers and community.”