Erika Barootes, Edmonton Director at Kit And Ace, and her team have turned many heads while dramatically renovating their newly-acquired Whyte Ave location. Providing no indication of what was to come, they only revealed an all white storefront with blue trim, completely sealed windows with a peep hole in shape of their unreleased logo, and mysterious adages such as:
“Anyone can be honest. A gangster is honest if they do what they say. It’s about integrity.”
Kit and Ace was started in March of this year by Shannon Wilson and her son JJ. The Wilson family are most recognized for their founding of Lululemon: with Chip at the helm and his wife Shannon as lead designer, they swept the globe with their innovative line of clothing that transcended utility and became a lifestyle. A departure from Lululemon, the mother-son duo are seeking to broaden their design palette, develop a strong sense of community within each location and build another fashion powerhouse.
Kit and Ace is a lifestyle brand designed for the creative class, with Italian tailoring, flowing, gender-neutral designs, and their patented Technical Cashmere. Named after the ideal people who embody the spirit of the brand, the young, creative professionals “Kit” and “Ace” are seeking to define a new generation of individuals, broadly identified as the creative class: an eclectic assortment of those who are up early and work late into the night. Their distinct branding reflects this class, where an average day includes a meeting or two, possibly a latte, and most likely a gym session – not to mention a few drinks after work.
Despite their creation in Vancouver, one may assume given the above description that their clothing was designed for Edmontonians. Launching their first Edmonton store this past November, Kit and Ace chose The City of Champions to be one of the first five locations to roll out across North America. A nod to Edmonton’s sense of style, Kit and Ace held its launch party late November and featured local delicacies such as JACEK Chocolate Couture and blooms by Cory Christopher. Of course, the highlight of any great party is the people – with local artists such as Taylor Burk (who has a large canvas of one of his photos on display in-store) and Rob Mohar, Founder of Itstimetobloom, to name just a few.
Erika emphasizes that they are a brand who engages with the community. With a display room showcasing rotating local artists from Taylor Burk and Alexis Marie Chute to IZM, and hosting frequent in-store events, they certainly have set quite the standard and walk the talk, and to me, that’s what integrity is all about.
Cover photo courtesy of Kit and Ace Website; Event Photography courtesy of Kit and Ace.