By SHERI RADFORD
Kit and Ace uses technical cashmere in beautiful garments for both men and women
While speaking to JJ Wilson, it’s impossible not to be charmed by his energy and enthusiasm. The co-creator of Kit and Ace knows that the fledgling store’s growth strategy is aggressive, borderline insane. Over the past nine months, he and his business partner Shannon Wilson (who is married to JJ’s father Chip Wilson, founder of Lululemon) have opened seven stores in North America, starting with their hometown of Vancouver. In the next year, they’re planning 30 more openings, in places as far flung as London, Tokyo and Sydney. “We’re a bit in shock about what we’ve committed ourselves to,” he admits with a laugh. Each store reflects the brand’s identity but with many regional touches, including fixtures by local designers and rotating art by local artists, in order to support what JJ calls “the evolving creative class.” You don’t need to be creative in order to appreciate Kit and Ace clothes, which are all constructed from technical cashmere. As soft as regular cashmere, but enhanced with technical fibres for resilience, technical cashmere doesn’t shrink, pill or bag out at the knees and elbows. The tailored styles look elegant while remaining comfortable. And the best part? All pieces are machine-washable. JJ says he can’t imagine wearing anything else, and after speaking to him, we’re converts, too.