This season we teamed up with Opening Ceremony to create a playfully luxe collection of moccasins and slippers for the whole family. Beginning with classic Minnetonka silhouettes and adding an unexpected Opening Ceremony twist we are excited to finally unveil this cozy limited edition collection.
We recently sat down with Opening Ceremony’s Carol Lim and Humberto Leon to discuss style, Minnetonka memories and their inspiration behind the Minnetonka for Opening Ceremony collection.
Tell us about your background in fashion and what led to the beginning of Opening Ceremony?
CAROL: Humberto and I met at UC Berkeley, and we bonded over our mutual love of fashion and travel. After college, we took a holiday together to Hong Kong to visit a friend and were so inspired by the shopping culture there, where the experience extends beyond the act of purchasing something and is instead a fun activity with friends and family. We also loved the idea of bringing the souvenirs we discovered abroad to back home and sharing these hard-to-find pieces with our friends. From there, we founded our first store on Howard Street in 2002, naming it Opening Ceremony in reference to the Olympic tradition that brings together all of the world's cultures and customs.
You’ve collaborated with so many different artists and brands - what do you look for when approaching an artist or brand to collaborate?
CAROL: From the beginning, we have always thought of ourselves as storytellers, so the idea of collaborating with other brands and individuals is a completely natural extension of that. For instance, we have always believed in heritage and authenticity, and when we want to develop a flannel shirt, we went to the original makers at Pendleton and decided to work with them in telling their story through our lens. That same philosophy applies to this relationship we have with Minnetonka. All our partnerships are from the heart and from nostalgic relationships we have, and there is no set formula to the different partners we work with. We like to react from the gut and most of the time, we are so excited about the projects that we want to share them immediately.
What led to the collaboration with Minnetonka?
HUMBERTO: Both Carol and I grew up in the suburbs as huge fans of Minnetonka shoes -- I still remember buying my first pair of moccasins at the mall ages ago, and I can't wait for my twin girls to wear the shearling slippers we made with Minnetonka when the weather gets cold. Over the years, we've always loved this heritage brand that created comfortable American staples for women, men, and kids alike , so when my team and I were brainstorming on brands that we wanted to partner with to create the perfect holiday gifts for the whole family, Minnetonka was an obvious and meaningful choice for us.
What’s the inspiration behind the Minnetonka for Opening Ceremony collection?
HUMBERTO: We wanted to keep with the "brand for the whole family" image that Minnetonka conveys, so we designed with that in mind. We looked to classic aviator jackets for inspiration, with black and brown pebbled calf leather and shearling lining. We also added a sporty element with checkered puff nylon laces. For women, we wanted to elevate the classic Minnetonka moccasin style with bordeaux and black calf leather and Swarovski crystals. The kiddies got a special twist on Minnetonka's iconic beaded "thunderbird" moccasins, swapping up the bird emblem with either the classic OC torch logo or a smiley face. As a whole, we really wanted to celebrate some of Minnetonka's most famous styles with an OC twist.
What’s the best style advice you’ve ever received?
CAROL: Style should never be forced—it isn’t about wearing a brand from head to toe, and what's appropriate for day and night wear aren't necessarily always true. The best kind of style is all about the particular decisions a person makes when dressing and how she expresses herself through these choices.
Shop the full Minnetonka for Opening Ceremony collection.