The Year of the Monkey is the Year of China for Opening Ceremony. The store timed the launch of its annual country-specific theme to today’s Chinese Lunar New Year, revealing its slate of special collaborations and new designers, all of which are Chinese in some way or another. These include capsule collections with Anna Sui, Vivienne Tam and, on a larger scale, Pearl River Mart, the famous SoHo emporium of all manner of Chinese products that is exiting its Broadway location due to rising rents. According to Pearl River president Ching Yeh Chen, the store will be vacating 477 Broadway at the end of the month, with a possible extension to March. It will continue to operate online while a new brick and mortar location is being scouted. “Like most New Yorkers, I get very sad when these staples of New York are being shut down because of of rent hikes,” said Opening Ceremony’s Humberto Leon.
“Everyone from Patricia Field closing or an amazing Jewish deli — these mainstays of New York,” he said. “It’s like the city needs a great preservation society to maintain them.”
Additionally, a slew of mainland China-based labels will be carried in the store, including Angel Chen, Ximon Lee, Huiman by Guong Zou and Decoster, which Leon said is a staple in China. This will be the first time it has been sold outside the country.
As for why China now, Leon said that the team had been scouting it since 2011. “In the last five years so much has progressed,” he said. “When we first went out there, there was definitely a feeling that the young designers in China, as much as they have the resources at their finger tip, really needed to get their production quality up to international standards. It’s been a longish process but they’re definitely there.”