Hi everyone,

It’s the last day of February, how crazy!!! I just got back from Colorado at 2:30 am this morning, caught a few hours of sleep, and was headed to work with a very tired head. Colorado was so much fun! I was kind of disappointed that I didn’t get to take a lot of photos this time, but sometimes the best moments in life couldn’t be captured but must be seen with our own eyes. Promise that the Colorado blog post will be up very soon! <3 In the meantime, I was inspired by a recent shoe delivery to do another Brand Focus. It’s Opening Ceremony, and the shoes are called the Samata. You still can shop them, here!

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The name was actually inspired by the Olympics’ Opening Ceremony, founded by Carol Lim (KENZO’s creative director) and Humberto Leon (used to work for Burberry) in 2002. Lim and Leon are best friends since their old college days at UC-Berkeley in the mid-90s. Click on the video and skip to 11:40 to learn a bit more about the brand, but I’d recommend watching the whole video or the whole British Vogue’s Future of Fashion Vogue series. I think the series is brilliant, and I love Alexa Chung! Anyways, I knew about the brand a few years back and found myself really drawn to their success story and their focus on the retail space which emphasizes strongly on the experience the stories of the designers they’re carrying. So last year when traveling to New York, one of my goals was to visit their store, and I actually made it to the Broadway location. Of course, as expected, I stayed in their tiny shop just looking and touching their stuff for like an hour.

Opening Ceremony was the first retailer to introduce the rubber flip-flops outside of Brazil, Havaianas, and Topshop beyond the UK. As Lim said in an Elle’s article: “We told them, `We’re going to carry your line in our store; we’re going to tell the story as to why it’s here. And in the next two years, I guarantee you, you’re going to have boutiques; you’re going to have high-level specialty stores coming to buy this.’ Moreover, designers such as Proenza Schouler (my bag!!!) and Rodarte, who were obscure when Leon and Lim first started working with them but are major presences in fashion today. In the article, Alexander Wang has also quoted, “They believe that the same person who is buying a $1,500 dress will also buy a $50 ­T-shirt and a $3 bumper sticker, even if that person never shopped like that before. They have made it possible to get it all in one place.”

You should browse their site, here, for what brands they’re currently carrying and of course their own OC label, but I’d recommend making an actual visit to their stores, 2 in NYC: Howard and Broadway street, 1 in LA, and 1 in Tokyo if you ever have a chance!

Read more Brand Focus: #1, #2, #3.

stay inspired | as always

An Trieu.