Fashion trail-blazer, Opening Ceremony stormed into London in October to open its first permanent European store and hasn’t stopped running at full speed ahead since. Even before the store opened, Opening Ceremony had a pop-up during the London Olympics (of course, with a name like Opening Ceremony, how could they not?!) and a Topshop collaboration, and then they launched a capsule collection with Yoko Ono, earlier this month. We thought we’d have a little chat to store manager Dorothy Burns about the highs and lows of running one of London’s most coveted stores, what she’ll be wearing in 2013 and what tunes pick the staff up on an unusually long day.
Art Wednesday: What are you wearing today? Do you have a dress code or are you encouraged to wear clothes you sell in-store?
Dorothy Burns: I’m wearing a Marques Almeida shirt, a Geon J leather skirt and some very old Cat boots! We dont have a dress code, the staff here all have very different personalities and it’s important to us that everyone is able to be themselves.
AW: What’s your brand of the month (could be clothes or product)?
DB: Brand of the month has to be Marques Almeida – I’m still obsessed with their winter collection, but just placed my order for SS13 and now I can’t wait for that to arrive!
AW: What are the highs and lows of managing a shop?
DB: The highs are the people and the products. OC is still a small company, so it feels like an extended family and the buying is, in my opinion, incredible, so there’s no lack of things to lust after.
The lows….so far not many! With any retail job I suppose the one thing is that the traditional ‘holiday’ periods are our busiest times of the year, so it’s hard to get away over Christmas and New Year.
AW: What’s the current bestselling item of clothing/product?
DB: Our own line, Opening Ceremony, clothing and accessories are always our best seller, closely followed by Kenzo. The Kenzo Tiger sweaters were the hit of the season.
AW: Most unusual request?
DB: I once had to pay an employee of a courier company to hand deliver a dress to the UAE so that my client could wear it to an event the next day.
AW: Who’s your current favourite fashion designers? (One old and one on the rise.)
DB: SO HARD! On the rise, J.W.Anderson. I worked on a couple of his shows when I was a producer and was a fan of his work ever since his first collection was stocked in Two-See (many moons ago). It’s been incredible to watch him grow and for me, his womenswear is defining of this era of fashion in London.
Established…oh god. If I had to choose, it would be a coin toss between Celine and Dolce & Gabbana. I love the discretion of Celine and the sometimes absurdity of Dolce. I don’t think I could ever make that choice myself though, they each represent an extreme of my taste.
AW: What will you be wearing next year? Are there any SS13 trends you have your eye on?
DB: J.W.Anderson space cowboy boots, over-sized tailoring and Marques Almeida summer fur. OC have also commissioned a special limited edition re-issue of the Juun.J. printed neoprene t-shirt with artwork from Swiss artists Alex Gertschen and Felix Meier. This season sold out in the blink of an eye – I’m not going to let it slip through my fingers again!
AW: And favourite tune or band your like to play on the shop floor as a pick me up?
DB: We love us some early 2000′s hiphop!
AW: Where else do you like to shop? (books, art, clothes etc…)
DB: I’m in the process of renovating my apartment so I’m all about secondhand furniture shops and flea markets at the moment. I won my new bathroom suite on Ebay for £1.20 last month! I’m also obsessed with a junk shop in Somerset called Fagans, which is basically four huge barns full of oddities – once when I went there they had an entire apothecary shop fit!
AW: If you go out for lunch where’s your favourite place to eat?
DB: Mishikins if I’m at work and Elliot’s Cafe if I’m at home.
AW: And for post-work drinks?
DB: Dean Street Townhouse.
AW: What’s next?
DB: We’re going to have heavy coverage of the London Collections: Men, plus LFW and NYFW in February. Plus several VERY exciting collaborations for 2013, but sadly I’m not at liberty to disclose that info just yet – watch this space!
For Opening Ceremony’s website [click here]