The Happening: Farfetch Sit Downs with Opening Ceremony's Humberto Leon recently interviewed the talented Humberto Leon, one-half of the duo responsible for one of my favorite American brands, Opening Ceremony. Needless to say, the interview was very enlightening, especially for a man like me who wants to be in the biz someday.

Mr. Leon discusses how he went from becoming a store owner who carries other brands to a designer whose work has been adorned by the who's who of the fashion world. He calls the occurence "
serendipitous;" I call it "inspiring." Kudos, Mr. Leon. Keep at it!

Partners in Crime: Carol Lim and Humberto Leon of Opening Ceremony

Some highlights below.

Can you tell me about the birth of Opening Ceremony – when and where did you launch your label, and what was the inspiration?
We launched our label about a year after launching our store in 2002. We started out making a few basic items that we wanted in the store but couldn’t find, and in a way they weren’t the kind of ‘fun’ items that we wanted to buy. We realised there was a need for these classic men’s and women’s pieces, which we called “basics plus”, because they are key items that are a little more than basics.

What is the concept behind your men’s and womenswear beyond creating ‘basics plus’?
Our line began pretty organically and developed into a complete story as we went along. I’d say day to night wear is really what we are all about. We want to make clothing that you can wear in all different ways, to all different places and that doesn’t look like daywear or nightwear, but just ‘wear’. There is a story behind every collection for both men and women, it’s usually following a theme of a couple in love, or a brother and a sister on an adventure, or best friends travelling together – we always envision a guy and a girl, that’s always the starting point.

Do you have an idea in mind of the people you are creating clothing for when you design?
All different types of people wear our clothing – from eight year olds to 80 year olds, we have such a varied clientele. The people who shop at our store and buy our designs have their own individual style, and they buy from us because they are after something special, unique and quirky.

Would you say you are following in the tradition of great American sportswear – or do you look elsewhere for inspiration?
We aren’t necessarily following directly in those footsteps, but we’re looking at that tradition of sportswear from our own point of view, and reinterpreting classic sportswear pieces. We’ve never wanted to pigeon-hole our label and aesthetic, so for us the sky is the limit.

What’s been the best thing about running and designing for Opening Ceremony?
The best thing has been seeing people leaving the store excited and happy after buying exciting goods – both Carol and I are in the store every day. Seeing people liking what you do is always an amazing feeling – and working each day with one of my best friends is a bonus.

For the full transcript, click here.

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