What happens when a brand is headed by two family members? Some would say catastrophe, but the opposite is true for JJ Wilson and stepmother Shannon, co-founders of the clothing line Kit and Ace. Shannon, who is married to former CEO of Lululemon Chip Wilson, teamed up with her stepson JJ after realizing the need for luxury performance-based clothing. Operating out of New York, the first phase of Kit and Ace debuted almost two years ago and now they have transitioned into their very first swimwear line. We interviewed JJ Wilson on what it means to wear Kit and Ace and what’s in store for the brand moving forward.
While many fashion brands believe in suffering for the sake of clothing, Kit and Ace doesn’t ascribe to that ideology. “Our philosophy at Kit and Ace is focused on the marriage of fashion and function. We create technical apparel from high performing fabrics without sacrificing style,” explains Wilson.
Currently, many Kit and Ace pieces are made of their signature fabric, what they call “technical cashmere,” as well as technical silk and brushed miskace, which ensures that customers not only look good in the brand, but feel good, too. This means being able to wear clothing that takes you from home to the office to the beach, and back. In an ever-changing fashion industry, bringing technicality into clothing is a genius idea.
Those already fans of the brand can anticipate not only pieces that mix and match with others, but implemented technology to prevent shrinking, pilling, loss of elasticity, and fading. “To enhance the fabrication, our technical designers incorporated features like non-slip grip and adjustable waistbands to support how pieces transition between activities,” says Wilson of the steps taken to ensure that this swimwear collection goes above and beyond in the name of functionality.
The SS16 swimwear collection is perfect for anyone who is constantly on the move. Like with all of their products, Kit and Ace believes in a “full-contact lifestyle.” This means that they design their clothing with a busy schedule in mind. For example, the men’s quick-dry shorts in the collection are made to go from the beach to the patio and back again. In addition, other standout pieces in the collection include more pieces that embody the versatility of the Kit and Ace brand, such as the V-kini Swim Top, Cheeky and Tie Bikini Bottoms for women, and Coastal and Cuffed Swim Shorts for men.
As they move toward their second year as a clothing brand, Kit and Ace has a lot to look forward to. In addition to the 60 shops currently open, ten more are slated to debut across North America, Australia, and the UK. “We’re continuing to expand and develop our product line, which stems from the wide selection of proprietary fabrics we’ve created… we aren’t planning on slowing down,” Wilson explains of the commercial success that is Kit and Ace.
You can buy Kit and Ace in major cities across the country with new stores opening in Atlanta, Detroit, Cincinnati, New York, Dallas, and D.C. later on this year. See more information at kitandace.com.
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Getting Technical with Kit and Ace: Photographs courtesy of Kit and Ace