Under a year ago, Vancouver, BC–based Kit and Ace wasn't much more than a popup shop offering 10 units of 10 different tees. Now, the brand has 18 brick-and-mortar shops and counting—one of the latest of which sits at the center of Capitol Hill's ever-growing developments on Pike and Minor.
Perhaps you're thinking that this kind of growth seems rather rapid (reckless, even?), but a confident JJ Wilson, the company's brand director, told me that they're prepared to manage capacity and grow globally at a rate that would have 50 stores open—everywhere from San Francisco to Denver to Japan, Australia, and the UK—before the end of the year.
Every location is unique in that it incorporates 25 to 30 percent of local elements in its decor. At the Pike store, that means furnishings and a signature "supper club" table crafted by an area designer. There's also a gallery wall that'll feature a different Seattle-based artist on a rotating schedule (currently work by Matt Schwenk).
Alongside Shannon Wilson, who serves as the company's creative director, JJ founded the brand as a way to merge popular athletic fabrics with fashionable silhouettes. Made from "technical cashmere," the line offers ultrasoft basics that are machine washable and have just the right amount of stretch and movement. (It's here that we should note that Shannon is the wife of former Lululemon CEO and founder, Chip Wilson; JJ is Chip's son.) Kit and Ace seems to be the next iteration of Lululemon's sporty aesthetic—refining the athleisure (I hate that term) look into something stylish but less yogi.
Pieces are priced between $68 and $138. Our favorites include the Calvert and Weekend tees for women, plus the Mercer button-up and the Jameson t-shirt for men. Stay tuned for more of the brand's planned in-store events and special shopping experiences.