The Canadian brand Kit and Ace opened its first shop in Vancouver’s design-centric neighborhood of Gastown in the summer of 2014. 39 stores and eight pop-up shops later, the technical cashmere company is disrupting fashion’s current offering of athleisure and carving out a new market category fueled by the creative communities they are joining.
Kit and Ace is the brainchild of JJ and Shannon Wilson. JJ is the son of Chip Wilson, founder of Lululemon. In an attempt to fill the void between yoga clothes and street clothes, the Wilsons created a proprietary fabric that combines technical attributes and luxury fibers. They are designing day-to-night clothing for someone living a ‘full contact life’, someone whose time is precious. This mantra hangs in neon lights in the company’s newly opened Austin shop and is the connective thread between visual aesthetics and how a customer moves through the space.
The brand’s passion for community rings true with this new Austin location, which sees them partnering with local painter Jenny Granberry and photographer Matt Crump. Kit and Ace gives autonomy to each location’s so-called ‘Creative Class’ to create a custom store with each opening. The shop acts as a gallery space and teams up with area lighting designers, photographers, artists and makers, always incorporating iconic local photography and a rotating art wall. The epitome of these hyper-local partnerships comes in the form of a Supper Club table in each store that's used to host monthly invite-only meetings for creatives to indulge in local fare and celebrate good company.