New Guards Group is adding a new brand to its roster.
The streetwear-focused firm, licensor of brands including Off-White, Palm Angels and Heron Preston, has reportedly acquired Opening Ceremony’s trademark and intellectual property. Opening Ceremony co-founders Humberto Leon and Carol Lim are expected to stay in their roles as co-creative directors; financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
New Guards Group appears to be in acquisition mode since it just acquired Japanese jewelry label Ambush last month. The purchases of Ambush and Opening Ceremony come after Farfetch purchased NGG in August 2019 for $675 million.
When news of Farfetch’s New Guards acquisition broke in August, investors expressed worries — namely over high acquisition costs and spending on tech infrastructure — and Farfetch stock took a nearly 50% hit the day of the announcement. However, things appear to have evened out, and NGG is experiencing growth: In November, Farfetch co-chair and CEO Jose Neves said New Guards’ portfolio “sold more on Farfetch in Q3 than any other single brand,” adding that Off-White sold more than any luxury brand on the site, including established heritage labels like Prada, Gucci and Saint Laurent.
“The lines between high-end fashion and streetwear continue to blur,” Matt Powell, senior industry advisor of sports at The NPD Group Inc., said about the Farfetch NGG acquisition. “The principle of scarcity — [where there is] limited access or low supply and high demand — drives both sectors.”
Representatives from Opening Ceremony and New Guards Group could not be reached immediately for comment.
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