Kit and Ace, a new contemporary lifestyle brand created by the wife and son of lululemon founder Chip Wilson, plans to open a store in the North Loop of Minneapolis on June 5. The store will be located on the second floor of 113 Washington Ave, above Roe Wolfe. This will be the brand's first store between New York and San Francisco. There are five locations throughout Canada, and agressive expansion plans.
Kit and Ace sells luxury basics for women and men made of "Qemir," a technical cashmere developed by Chip Wilson's wife Shannon, a founding designer at lululemon. Chip Wilson, who resigned as luluemon's chairman after the sheer fabric debacle of 2013 and his subsequent botched apologies, told the The New York Times Magazine in February that he and Shannon offered to give the new fabric to lululemon for free, but the company wasn't interested. Shannon Wilson then left lululemon and started Kit and Ace with Wilson's oldest son J.J.
Kit and Ace is designed around the principle of what to wear when you can't get away with yoga pants, but still want to be comfortable. Clothes to live in, not sweat in, a spokesperson says. The brand story on the Kit and Ace website says, "After spending years dressed head to toe in stretchy performance wear, they were looking for clothing that offered the same functionality but that met their desire for sophistication, style and luxury."
The minimalist collection, done in a neutral palette, includes $78 T-shirts and $198 knit sweaters.
"We are excited to bring North Loop a beautiful space in which customers can access our clothing, but also come away with a deeper sense of our brand," JJ Wilson said in a statement. "What we offer is far more than apparel. It's an evolved retail experience."
North Loop is one of 50 stores Kit and Ace intends to open in 2015. A spokesman says each store incorporates "hyper-local" elements inspired by the city, including drawings from local artists, designers and craftsmen.