Since launching Lululemon back in 1998, The Wilsons have been at the forefront of the yoga-driven fashion world we call home. 16 years later, and its officially become a family affair with Shannon and JJ Wilson, wife and son of founder Chip Wilson, branching out into their own label of athleisure (clothing appropriate for both athletic and leisurely pursuits), Kit and Ace.
While Lululemon has not been portrayed in the most favourable light as of late, Shannon is hoping to start fresh with her new brand that capitalizes on something she likes to call “technical cashmere.” Similar to Lululemon, Kit and Ace sells richly-priced T-shirts for men and women ranging from $68-$98. What makes these basics stand apart is their special blend of 81 percent viscose, 10 percent elastine and nine percent cashmere. Yes, that’s right. Now your loungewear can contain a hint of cashmere, making for a ten out of ten on the comfort scale, and the best part is that the product is machine washable (that means no shelling out money on dry cleaning bills).
As for the aesthetic vision of the company, Kit and Ace is steering away from Lululemon’s yoga-inspired outlook by targeting a creative class consumer through casual street wear. JJ claims that the name “Kit and Ace” derives from what they imagine their ideal boy and girl customer would be like. The label’s website even features a blog titled “Meet Kit,” featuring a model sporting the luxury street wear designs while participating in various everyday activities such as leaving cycling class, going for coffee, shopping and more.
First opening a location in Vancouver’s trendy Gastown neighborhood earlier this year, the brand launched their online store, as well as several other Canadian establishments this past week. Toronto received its very own location, at 779 Queen Street West, while Calgary, Saskatoon and Edmonton also opened up their own venues. With further plans for expansion, Kit and Ace has also announced they will be opening two American flagships in New York City and San Fransisco. And while Chip Wilson has received a great deal of flack over the Lululemon scandal that took place last fall, he will remain at a distance from the company offering behind-the-scenes guidance to his wife and son.