[UPDATE: This story was originally published on December 2.]
If you've ever sauntered into the avant-garde La Cienega compound of Opening Ceremony, your eyes surely feel insta-butterflies thumbing through its madcap racks (and perhaps your Amex immediately started to tremble, too?). Owners Carol Lim and Humberto Leon have 100% monopolized the market on cool, uncommon goods — and they're no slackers in curating employees, either. Every single staffer is impeccably dressed and impressively knowledgeable. Case in point: ruler of the L.A. roost, Ms. Jenny Le.
On a rare day when she wasn't globetrotting with her bosses or managing her team of 33, we hit her Silver Lake pad to dig through her bonkers closet and watch her self-styling in action. Click through this treasure trove of classy quirk — we swear there's inspiration galore in store!
Photographed by Luke Wooden
Describe for us what a typical day at Opening Ceremony entails.
"I oversee all operations on the West Coast, and there's really no such thing as 'typical' in the world of Opening Ceremony — every day is its own puzzle."
Toga Dress, Proenza Schouler Boots, Vintage Earrings
What's your relationship like with your bosses, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon?
"We met through mutual friends, and we were close before I began working for them."
Since you're a satellite "office" of sorts, how do you communicate with them?
"Via Skype, phone, email — an active flow of communication is the force that fuels everything."
What's been your proudest moment on the job?
"Being able to grow my teams — we're about 33 strong here in L.A."
How did you score your gig?
"Humberto and Carol asked me to open their L.A. store, and I said 'yes,' of course!"
It takes a very specific style mindset and je ne sais quoi to embody Opening Ceremony's ideals. When you're hiring, what do you think are the most important questions to ask?
"I usually ask things that can reveal who someone is beyond their resume. I throw in quirky questions just to get a different kind of read on the applicant — that's what makes it exciting and gives me a true sense of who someone is."
You travel often for work. What never escapes your suitcase when packing for a globe trot?
"Layers — I'm quite often cold."
What worldly destinations have you found to be the most enlightening?
"Morocco, Jamaica, and Vietnam — they all have a special vibrancy."
What is it about L.A. that inspires you?
"I've always had an affinity for the desert."
Acne and Ann-Sofie Back Dresses, Costume National Heels, Unearthen and Vintage Necklaces, Tiffany & Co. Earrings
How would you describe your personal style in five words or less?
"Everything I do is intuitive."
What's your mantra when getting dressed?
"The process is never the same!"
What facets of culture inspire you most?
"Cinema, literature, and music are big inspirations for me — and the influences stem from the essence of a character or a song. Films such as La Jetée, Un Chien Andalou, In the Realm of the Senses, The Audition, The Face of Another, The Insect Woman, The War Zone, Dune, and Blade Runner all possess a sentimental significance and soundtracks that inspire me."
How does the way you dress reflect your inner persona?
"I'm always in the moment and true to myself."
What two pieces in your closet could you never live without?
"I'm not married to any piece of clothing."
Tell us the story behind that rad 1966 Mercedes 250 SE Coupe.
"I previously owned a '69 280 SE Coupe, but after that car was stolen, I couldn't bear getting a modern car. So, I found this one."
Have you had any breakdowns in it?
"Yes! That just comes with the territory of owning a vintage car."
Jacquemus Top, Vintage Suede Pants, Opening Ceremony Pumps, Delfina Delettrez Earring
You seem to be up to your eyeballs in accessories. Who are your favorite designers in that style sect?
, and Repossi
If you (god forbid), ever had a fire, what items would you grab first?
"My jewelry since most pieces have sentimental value."
What's your standpoint on the blurred lines between fashion and art?
"Both are forms of expression that generate sounds, shapes, empty space, and texture."
Who are some artists that get you going?
"Louise Bourgeois, Wolfgang Tillmans, David Benjamin Sherry, Dan Graham, Alex Israel, Brendan Fowler, Amie Dicke, Shōmei Tōmatsu, Nobuyoshi Araki, Daido Moriyama, and Hiroshi Sugimoto. Plus, my favorite galleries in L.A. are OHWOW, Regen Projects, ACME, LAND, Night Gallery, and Annie Wharton. I wish Peres Projects was still around!"
You obviously work with some very avant-garde labels. Are there any up-and-comers that you'd love to have hanging in your own closet?
, Patrik Ervell
, and Marques'Almeida
What are some of your favorite spots to shop for unconventional items?
"I love Obsolete
in Venice and Erie Basin
in Red Hook."
Norma Kamali Jumpsuit, Costume National Shoes and Bag, Vintage Rings from Tortoise
Your skin is flawless. What are your beauty go-tos?
"I use Dr. Hauschka
for my face since the products are all-natural. Plus, I swear by NARS Black Moon eyeliner
How do you unwind in L.A.?
You're into crystals and healing — tell us how that relationship began.
"I became fascinated with crystals because they're abstract beings that possess magical healing properties, which can only be experienced if you have an open frequency."
What's your biggest tip for good time management?
What's the key to success for living in L.A.?