Opening Ceremony, L.A.



openingcer_la_instory1Opening Ceremony has long held court as New York's top spot for out-of-the-ordinary urban togs. A cleverly styled space where the store's eponymous label converges with a colorful smattering of international and domestic labels, the NYC spot is home to a steady stream of seriously diehard customers. Armed with big-city street cred and an A-list following, owners and designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim recently took the store cross-country, setting up shop on West Hollywood's La Cienega.

Though the racks are lined with the best New York labels, including Proenza Schouler, Mayle, and Nom de Guerre, the L.A. Opening Ceremony has a distinct and verifiably West-Coast identity that Humberto admits inspired OC's current line. "Our spring collection came from the idea of East Coast relatives meeting West Coast relatives," he says. "But the store design was based on both Carol's and my experiences growing up in Los Angeles."

Housed in an art-deco building that was originally Charlie Chaplin's dance studio, the space, he says, "is very reminiscent of what La Cienega once was." Keeping the interior architecture of the building intact, Carol and Humberto vamped it up with an almost kitschy homage to their formative years. Track-home siding, ceramic elephants, hydraulic jewelry cases, animal floaties adorning mannequins, and a labyrinthine arrangement that Humberto says "is meant to mirror driving in L.A.," create a store that's almost like it's own little neighborhood—an urban meets suburban nook designed for discovery.

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Opening Ceremony, 451 North La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles; 310-652-1120.

NYC's gold-medal boutique brings some serious retail competition to the West Coast.