Local secret behind Opening Ceremony’s success?

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As Opening Ceremony, the innovative fashion retailer (and brand,) made its debut in the glitzy halls of Lane Crawford, few guests realized that the New York powerhouse actually owes part of its success to destinations on Kowloon-side.

It might come as something of a shock to many of the fashion elite congregated at the IFC flagship, that an innovative technique that helped propel Opening Ceremony to the top of fashion heap was in fact derived from Tsim Sha Tsui’s scrappy mini-malls.

The shop-within-a-shop aesthetic, perfected by Opening Ceremony, comes from the founders’ experience visiting Hong Kong and searching out young indie fashion designers.

Beginning in the late 90’s, places like Rise Commercial Building, just off Granville Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, contained dozens of local designers spread out over several floors. With each shop occupying a space no bigger than a closet, it was possible for shoppers to experience an entire fashion universe walking along a single floor.

Hong Kong’s high rents were the reason for the mini-mall phenomenon. Being located upstairs in a commercial building, away from the street, allowed for cheaper rents. This unique way of compartmentalizing a shopping center into tiny shops, lowered the barrier to entry for new blood, and attracted customers by offering a massive number of choices in a single location.

It also emphasized creativity. Shops competed to lure potential customers by the ingenuity of their interior design and their unique displays. The result was a powerful use of a small space, and an exciting shopping experience for consumers.

While Hong Kong shoppers often prefer convenience and sterile shopping malls, sophisticated New Yorkers such as Opening Ceremony founders, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, were likely fascinated by the hunt for something distinctly local and the feeling of exploration provided by the mini-malls’ alternative shopping experience.

For more on mini-malls in H.K., go here, for a little background on Opening Ceremony’s ties to Hong Kong go here.

Donuts, hot-dogs, Opening Ceremony x Lane Crawford!

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Food took a close second to fashion at the launch of Lane Crawford’s collaboration with Opening Ceremony. Along with props such as a faux New York City street-scape, there were numerous food and drink stalls setup around the massive IFC retail space.

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In addition to perusing Opening Ceremony’s vast lines (including cross-over projects with Rodarte, Pendleton, and Chloe Sevigny, who was in attendance,) guests made their way between stalls, sampling delicacies such as donuts, mini-burgers, hot-dogs, cookies and ice-cream.

[photopress:chloe_sevigny_hong_kong_opening_ceremony.jpg,full,pp_image] [photopress:opening_ceremony_store_china.jpg,full,pp_image] [photopress:opening_ceremony_hong_kong_HK.jpg,full,pp_image] [photopress:store_lane_crawford_fashion_HK.jpg,full,pp_image] [photopress:lane_crawford_opening_ceremony_HK.jpg,full,pp_image] [photopress:opening_ceremony_clothing_collaboration.jpg,full,pp_image] The line for gelato was particularly long!

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