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August 2 2014

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Bienvenidos, Buenos Aires

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Opening Ceremony spent the past year immersed in French culture, working with labels like Jean Paul Gaultier, Agnès B., and Repetto (in between eating Ladurée macarons and celebrating Bastille Day with the French heritage label Saint James). This week, O.C.’s Humberto Leon and Carol Lim announced that it’s time to continue globetrotting, and they have landed on Argentina as this year’s country of focus for their stores.

“There’s some really great, interesting younger designers there,” Leon, who made his first trip to Argentina with Lim about five months ago, tells Style.com. “You will see some of these designers, but we also focused on the local artisans and culture—we found incredible felt hats made in the mountains and leather cowhide bags.” (Speaking of cows: “You cannot get enough of the steak,” Leon says of the country’s non-fashion attractions. “It’s incredible.”)

After more than 60 studio visits, the duo settled on a select group of designers and brands, including Ale Sly, Chicco Ruiz, Yanina Solnicki of El Camarin, Paula Selby Avallaneda, María Pryor, and classic Argentinian brands like Felix and Alpargatas—a 125-year-old textile company. In their usual manner, they worked with the labels to create custom colors, fabrics, and styles, available in O.C. stores in September.

For Alpargatas’ U.S. debut, the O.C. team created a series of specialty shoes, including “cool, two-toned canvas” shoes in high- and low-top styles. “The goal is to have Argentinians walk into our store and see these brands and get excited because they are authentic,” Leon explains.

To kick off their South American year, Leon and Lim have planned a carnival market at the Ace Hotel for Fashion’s Night Out, where the festivities will include street vendors, dancers outfitted by Alexander Wang, Proenza Schouler, Suno, and O.C., customizable Havianas, and more.

Photo: David X Prutting / BFAnyc.com

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