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Our Year of China debuts in time for the Lunar New Year with a collaboration with one of New York’s most beloved emporiums (and Opening Ceremony’s long-time neighbor), Pearl River Mart. When Pearl River opened in 1971 as “Chinese Native Products” in New York City’s Chinatown, the concept behind the small shop was simple: to introduce quality Chinese goods to America. Founded by a group of overseas Chinese immigrants and student activists, Pearl River was one of the first retailers to import Chinese-made products—from soy sauce to Chinese cotton tee shirts—to the United States, during the Cold War era when trade bans with the Communist nation were still enforced.

Over the next four decades, Pearl River evolved along with the burgeoning downtown New York art scene. Today, its Broadway bazaar is a destination for products from the mainland, such as cheongsam gowns, paper lanterns, traditional textiles, and even decorative gold buddhas. Everyone, from Chinatown locals to fashion insiders to tourists, appreciates the experience of getting lost in the store, as vast and kaleidoscopic as its host city.

“Pearl River is honored to be recognized by a fashion purveyor as innovative and forward-thinking as Opening Ceremony,” says Mrs. Ching Yeh Chen, Pearl River president. “This collection not only celebrates the cultural interplay between the East and the West but also between different generations; which have been our company’s guiding principles for over 45 years.”

“Pearl River was one of the first stores I visited in New York when I first moved here in 2000,” says OC’s co-founder Humberto Leon. “I was living around the corner and it was my go-to for all things basic for my home and, of course, for many things Asian. I am super excited to do this Opening Ceremony Celebrates Pearl River collection.”

The Opening Ceremony Celebrates Pearl River collection is a twist on “East Meets West” aesthetics. Opening Ceremony silhouettes, such as the zip mini-skirt and the wide-legged trouser, are reimagined in Chinese jacquards, woven with rich Cherry Blossom and Lotus motifs. Meanwhile, traditional Chinese garments, such as a jacket with a Mandarin collar and handmade frog closures, are given an all-American update in denim. Playing on Opening Ceremony’s classic Varsity Jacket, a Coach jacket is embroidered with a multi-colored phoenixes and dragons—symbols of the perfect yin and yang union—and a Double Happiness character. The Chinese slippers that Pearl River helped bring to fame in the 2000s are recast in denim and lotus- flower jacquards. A series of T-shirts and sweatshirts features the Opening Ceremony and Pearl River Mart logos, a testament to our past and future as friends and collaborators.

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