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Style Pick | The Innovation Ace

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Innovative, creative, sophisticated. These are the words J.J. Wilson uses to describe the Kit and Ace lifestyle brand, which has moved into Austin’s eclectic South First neighborhood.

Wilson, whose father founded active wear brand lululemon, grew up in the retail industry learning to anticipate fashion trends. When he decided to open his own brand with the design help of his stepmother, Shannon Wilson, he focused on creating clothing that brought comfort, style and functional luxury to people leading fast-paced lives.

“Kit and Ace clothing is designed to save people time so they can lead a life of their own design,” says Wilson, adding that the goal is to make a product that goes from day to night. By incorporating technical innovations into their proprietary Technical Luxury fabrics, they’re able to elevate the customer experience by creating products that are both luxurious and low maintenance.

Technical Cashmere is one such proprietary blend that Shannon worked on for a year and a half. The result is an easy to care for sumptuous fabric that retains its shape and complements a person’s daily lifestyle and movement. “That’s the key,” says Wilson, adding, “We design with [lifestyle] in mind, creating machine-washable pieces that you can wear from day to night, which ultimately saves you time.”

Kit and Ace is future-focused and dedicated to each step of the production process, from globally sourcing sustainable materials to rigorous fabric testing. Since launching their first shop in Vancouver in July 2014, the brand has quickly grown to over 30 stores offering men’s and women’s Technical Cashmere T-shirts plus full clothing lines that blend technicality and functionality.

With each new Kit and Ace store, the brand strives to celebrate local creativity while creating a shopping experience that reflects the respective neighborhood. They do this by incorporating “hyper-local elements,” including in-shop gallery spaces that promote resident talent. At their shop on South First and Monroe, Austin artist Jenny Granberry is featured on the gallery wall and local photographer Matt Crump’s work is also on display.

Though a chain, Austin’s first Kit and Ace store is as unique as the art galleries, shops, and restaurants that speck the South First street sides. With its arrival, the brand is propelling the city’s creativity, prolonging a dialogue on progress, and proving itself as Austin’s innovation ace

CREDITS

Photography by Sarah Frankie Linder.

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