Opening Ceremony gets a new investor and reveals major growth plan
Thanks to a Boston-based private equity firm
Boston-based private equity firm Berkshire Partners has taken a minority stake in the fashion label Opening Ceremony, with plans to enhance its e-commerce offering, develop the company's ready-to-wear for him and her, plus accessories collections, and accelerate retail expansion.
According to reports, Opening Ceremony founders and co-owners Humberto Leon and Carol Lim initiated the talks with Berkshire through the investment bank Financo, "Since starting Opening Ceremony, Humberto and I have worked together to create a company with a strong point of view that offers our customers a fresh shopping experience in our stores, collections and Web site," said Lim. "Our growth over the years has been organic, but also strategic, and the relationship with Berkshire provides Opening Ceremony with broad resources to grow to the next level."
"We go by our instincts – it's the way Opening Ceremony has gotten to where it is today. Carol and I want to continue the special path of Opening Ceremony because we've felt such a strong desire for it from our customers. We've got a lot of ideas for more Opening Ceremony stores and we want to build our online platform to be even more dynamic." Added Leon.
The pair have been friends since their undergraduate days at the University of California at Berkeley, before launching Opening Ceremony in New York with an eye for underground fashion – counting Terence Koh, Spike Jonze and Ryan McGinley all part of their inner circle. Today, Chloë Sevigny designs a successful collabroation with the brand, which launched in 2007 after Leon read an interview with the actress in which she said if she was ever to design a fashion line, it would be for Opening Ceremony, and so he called her and proposed the collaboration.