OC’s Opening Ceremony

The Cult Boutique’s Humberto Leon and Carol Lim Share Their Perfect Olympic Pageant

Chloë Sevigny lighting the flame, RuPaul leading a catwalk of nations, and Beyoncé in a stellar duet with Björk all take center stage in Humberto Leon and Carol Lim’s dream takeover of the Olympic Opening Ceremony, interpreted as a series of surreal color-themed collages—and an exclusive downloadable poster—by star multimedia artist Quentin Jones.  Leon and Lim invented new sports events and bizarre roles for their friends in concocting their fantasy line-up. “We would probably extend the Opening Ceremony day to be more like a week-long Coachella, Lollapalooza-ish thing, with a lot of giveaways and invite a really generous number of people to be part of it,” offers Leon. “So making the Opening Ceremony the event itself.” The pair’s iconic New York fashion boutique, which now has outposts in Tokyo, Los Angeles and a recently launched London pop-up coinciding with the Games, celebrates its ten-year anniversary this fall with the release of a book anthologizing their remarkable rise and a new sports-and-fashion-themed magazine, OC Annual. Listing cartwheeling and backwards diving as her own choices for new Olympic disciplines, Jones adds: “If I were to join their Opening Ceremony Committee I would throw in Dirty Martinis from Duke’s [in Mayfair, London] served on a fleet of snuffleupagus.” Here Kenzo Creative Directors Leon and Lim reveal their competitive streaks and fashion crush over former US heptathlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

What sports were you good at as kids?
Humberto Leon:
I was good at Tennis.
Carol Lim: Tetherball.
HL: Oh I’m really good at that. I’m really good at this thing called Chinese jump rope. It’s kind of like Double Dutch but it involves a really big rubber band that goes around two people’s bodies. And I’m really good at patty cake, like almost a champion, like crazy, crazy good.

Is that what you would be world champion of?
HL: I definitely would be a contender of that. I’m a really good hula hooper, but only with one, not multiple. I can do it for probably an hour.
CL: I’m good at tennis, swimming, rock/paper/scissors. Oh, and ping-pong for both of us. I can do patty cake too! I won’t say I’m obsessed because Humberto would challenge me right now as we speak.

What kind of sports do you watch now? 
CL: We both love watching basketball and tennis. [To Humberto] What else do we watch, when it’s not Olympic time?
HL: Cheerleading competitions. That’s a big sport in America. Some of those jumps that they do with the flips––I mean, that’s gymnastics of sorts.

If you were to play an Olympic sport, what would it be?
HL:
I think I would have the best chance at ping-pong.
CL: I would maybe try archery. Not that I’m good, but I feel like I could practice that one a lot and train up for it.

Which Olympic athlete has the best style?
HL:
In the past I thought Greg Louganis had pretty cool style; I don’t know if any of the champions have good style.
CL: Well, so often you see them in their competitive gear, like when they’re on the track.
HL: I know who has the best style: Jackie Joyner-Kersee! She was really cool.

What makes a good Opening Ceremony?
HL:
A whole bunch of people having a lot of fun, and celebrating like it’s the last day on Earth..

Visit the NOWNESS Facebook page for Leon and Lim’s top places to visit while in London, as well as an exclusive downloadable poster of Quentin Jones’s reimagined rings, here.

Check back on Monday for the NOWNESS Olympic week, featuring stories on Athletes Meals, Lost Olympic Sports and Bart Hess' sexy shaving film.

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