Opening Ceremony, the hip downtown store known for its rotating roster of international designers and novelty collaborations with firms such as Keds, Tretorn, Pendleton and Betsey Johnson, is applying its concept to the hotel shop in Manhattan’s Ace Hotel.
This story first appeared in the January 6, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The store’s second New York outpost — the first opened on Howard Street in 2002, followed by Los Angeles and Tokyo locations in 2005 and 2009, respectively — is to open in February.
“We wanted it to be the ultimate hotel shop,” said Opening Ceremony co-owner Humberto Leon, adding he and partner Carol Lim were approached by hotelier Alex Calderwood, who also enlisted downtown boutique Project No. 8. “Carol and I really envisioned living in a hotel and everything we would need.”
The scenario inspired stock that will range from specialty toothpaste and toothbrushes to Criterion DVDs to a McSweeney’s bookshop to Proper Attire condoms. And, as Leon pointed out, key to any hotel shop are souvenirs: Here they will be in the form of a suite of designer collaborations, including an Alexander Wang tote bag, a Proenza Schouler Dopp kit, and Tumi luggage.
“We’re looking at this as a completely different situation [from the other Opening Ceremony stores],” said Leon, who prides himself on being an avid traveler, along with Lim. “We’re looking at snacks, like the best gummies from France and the best chips from London. We’re nerds who obsess over these little things.”
That’s not to say the store will be devoid of fashion. The Ace shop, which at 1,500 square feet is the smallest of Opening Ceremony’s four locations, will have an edited collection. The hotel store, which is being designed by New York architecture firm Leong Leong, is uncharted territory for Leon and Lim not only in concept but location. Their new neighborhood (29th Street and Broadway) isn’t exactly known as a retail hot spot, which Leon saw as part of its appeal.
“We’ve been looking to move above downtown,” he said. “This neighborhood is great because there isn’t much here.”