Opening Ceremony Returns With Homage to Historic LGBT Institutions
by Aaron Royce
05 August 2020
Opening Ceremony may have closed down its stores for good, but it's still very much alive on the digital front. Led by the eternally cool Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, the brand has created a line of limited edition Pride T-shirts exclusively sold on fashion marketplace Farfetch, who acquired OC earlier this year through its New Guards Group platform.
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Though Pride might have been physically canceled this summer, the collection is as timely as ever. Pride is 365 days a year — as the saying goes — shouldn't related merch represent that? Lim and Leon seem to think so, as the shirts are distinctly tonal and fashion-forward. Instead of featuring the rainbows, sequins, or "PRIDE" lettering synonymous with the LGBTQIA+ celebration, these tops all pay homage to the community's history.
"The one thing that kept coming to mind as COVID-19 has eviscerated lives on a global scale was its affect on nightlife and the jeopardy the pandemic imposes," Leon said. "Nightlife is the heart and soul of gay culture; it's where I first felt comfortable in my own skin, it's where I had my first kiss. I wanted to do something for the venues important to NYC and for the parties that have celebrated inclusivity and BIPOC representation, with an overall sense of Pride."
With a background in collaborations ranging from Teva to Adam Selman, OC naturally made this project a group effort. The brand joined forces with author and lecturer Matthew Riemer, curator behind Instagram account @lgbt_history, to create the six-piece collection.
Seven institutions and artists from the LGBTQIA+ community were supported by OC for working with them on this capsule release, including NYC havens Stonewall Inn, Julius and Henrietta Hudson. While BUBBLE_T, DisCakes, Glam Collective and Papi Juice Additionally celebrate the lives of marginalized queer and trans people of color:
Riemer found inspiration for the line in a variety of slogans from the 1970s to the present. Each shirt is created by a different artist — Rafa Esparza, Aya Brown, Chella Man, Andrew Thomas Huang, Bráulio Amado and Terrell Davis — and features a unique graphic to celebrate Pride year-round. Brown's shirt features a jockstrap harness graphic emblazoned with "Black Lesbians," while Amado's shows a colorful take on the "Gay Pride is Every Fucking Day..." slogan from an '80s Alex in Wonderland flyer.
The collection is available now on Farfetch.
Photos courtesy of Farfetch