The Real Deal Miami

Kit and Ace aims at cool Miami spots for new store openings

Stores in Wynwood and Coconut Grove will be first in Florida, as company expands worldwide

October 07, 2015 02:15PM
By Ina Cordle

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Houston Rice Village

Kit and Ace’s store in Houston

Kit and Ace, the luxury apparel, accessories and lifestyle brand for men and women  linked to the founders of lululemon  will open its first Florida stores in Coconut Grove and Wynwood by mid-November, as it targets hip areas for expansion.

First to open will be the Coconut Grove shop, at 3401 Main Highway, by late October or early November, the Vancouver-based company told The Real Deal. The 1,960-square-foot store’s decor will feature a “Supper Club” table by Design Pub, lights designed by Design Pub and Brookhart Jonquil, and artwork in its in-shop gallery space by Johnny Robles.

The store will be located in the Engle Building, owned by an entity controlled by Bernardo Fort-Brescia’s family. Other tenants include Büro Group, Harry’s Pizzeria and Panther Coffee.

The Wynwood shop will launch next, on Nov. 11,  at 219 Northwest 23rd Street. That store will have 1,511 square feet, the company said.

Founded by Shannon and JJ Wilson, Kit and Ace has opened 30 shops and five pop-ups in North America, Australia and the United Kingdom since first opening in Vancouver in July 2014. The owners are of the same family that started and built lululemon into a $10 billion business. Shannon Wilson is married to JJ’s father, Chip Wilson, the founder of lululemon.

With Kit and Ace, their aim is fill what they perceive to be a void in the luxury apparel industry. Their goal is to “deliver innovative products that provide comfort and ease of use to the wearer, using fabrics and design elements that will move from day to night,” according to the firm’s website.

“We’re excited that Coconut Grove will be our first location in Florida,” said JJ Wilson, co-founder and head of brand, in a statement. “It is a vibrant market known for attracting creative class members such as artists and musicians, which really speaks to our brand.”

Kit and Ace said it will sell selected items from the brand in its Miami stores, including core styles made of Kit and Ace’s proprietary fabric “technical cashmere” — machine-washable cashmere that has been enhanced with technical fibers.

“The creative culture in Wynwood is undeniable,” Shannon Wilson, co-founder and creative director at Kit and Ace said in a statement. “Thirty per cent of our shop elements are created by the local creative class and we can’t wait to collaborate with them — the space is going to be incredible.”

The Comras Company exclusively represented Kit and Ace and secured the locations, said Michael Comras, president and CEO of the Comras Company. “We continue to seek other appropriate opportunities as they arise,” he told TRD.

Both the Coconut Grove and Wynwood shops are in line with the company’s growth plans to open brick-and-mortar locations in innovative neighborhoods worldwide, Kit and Ace said.

Wynwood, known for its artsy vibe, is a neighborhood transforming with new retail stores and restaurants. Among new retailers are Warby Parker, Illesteva and Marine Layer. New restaurants include Wynwood Diner and the Lunchbox. The area is also home to art galleries and one of the largest open-air street art installations in the world including Wynwood Walls, creative offices and showrooms.

“Wynwood Arts District is a hub of creativity,” JJ Wilson said in a statement. “As a company that looks to drive creative dialogue, Wynwood is the perfect fit — we’re excited open up shop and build real connections with locals.”