Carrying the Torch: Opening Ceremony Honors the Olympics

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Ah, the thrill of victory…the agony of defeat…the joy of retail! As readers of this blog will no doubt be aware, the Olympics are almost upon us. Sounds odd for folks in this industry to admit this, but we really do have a case of Olympic fever. But we are not alone: August 8, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, who have partnered with Nike Sportswear, will offer 24-hours of athletic-themed fun at their Opening Ceremony store. Talk about Olympic spirit!

In addition to setting up a television to allow patrons to watch the first glittering 24 hours of the games (including the opening ceremony, natch), the Soho store will sell Nike's Olympic Air Max 1 sneaker at the Souvenir "shop-in-shop," kiosks will hawk limited-edition jewelery and accessories by Philip Crangi and Fallon, and the shop will host its own participatory "games". Needless to say, all the wares and decor will echo the spirit of international competition on display in Beijing, but how, we wondered, did Leon and Lee get so fixated on the games (other than the obvious tie-in with the store's name). Leon traces his personal Olympic fever to, "watching a Nadia Cominici special before the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics." Well, that'll do it. A fan of running, swimming, and basketball events, Leon's own Olympic dream would be a gold in gymnastics. "Maybe if there were a doubles floor," he says, "Carol and I could do it." Best of luck, in 2012, sir.
Opening Ceremony is located at 35 Howard Street, New York, 212-219-2631; www.openingceremony.us.