Something to Celebrate: Breakfast for Opening Ceremony

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Published May 21, 2010

 

 

How do you take a downtown, community-oriented boutique and recreate it in a hotel in a midtown neighborhood ominously called NOMAD? Opening Ceremony co-owners Humberto Leon and Carol Lim and design firm Leong Leong had the challenge of re-creating their brand’s ethos out of nothing (but in good company) at the Ace Hotel. Open since Valentine’s Day, the store has since proved nearly as popular as the hotel’s Stumptown coffee.

If the Downtown is the party-loving Opening Ceremony, this second location shows another side, explained Leon at a celebratory breakfast last week, “We wanted to show another side of Carol and I, which I think is a more nerdier side. We asked ourselves, when you travel, what things do you look for in a shop at a hotel?” That means amenities, and a partnership with Kiehl’s. When the Opening Ceremony team went to Paris for Fashion Week, they picked up toothbrushes and cuticle cutters, “and all those weird things,” he says.

The store’s stock also includes Criterion Collection DVDs, McSweeney’s books, which are indispensible because they are ever so slightly higher-brow than what you might typically anticipate at a hotel. But there are snacks, too. “The chips! Whenever Carol and I go to London we always bring back a tons of Walker chips, because we’re obsessed with Monster Munch and Prawn Cocktail.” Leon says. “It’s like a fantasy fridge.”

It was the job of Leong Leong, the brothers and architecture firm behind the space (who also recently designed Phillip Lim’s shop in Seoul), to elegantly place and case the various stuff: “They’ve got such an eclectic amount of merchandise. We wanted to take advantage of displaying the stock as much as possible.” They played with mirroring: women’s and men’s pieces are kept on opposite sides, with a changing room in the middle; hospital scrub-green garment bags actually housing some of the inventory. Another smart move: off-the-shelf speedrail scaffolding, flexible for removal and replacement, to keep everything organized and light. The result? The stock appears to floats through the space on big personality (and proper planning). If you’d like your Alex Wang with a side of Haribo’s Fruity Pasta, this is your must-stop shop.