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KIT AND ACE BRINGS ‘TECHNICAL CASHMERE’ TO SHOREDITCH

Shoreditch is now home to ‘technical cashmere’, something that has quickly won over the world. Co-founder of Kit and Ace, JJ Wilson, tells us more

Technical Cashmere – what inspired the idea behind it?

We [JJ and his stepmother, Shannon Wilson] started Kit and Ace because we looked at our lives, and the lives of our friends around us, and saw a void in the luxury apparel market. The most important thing for people is quality – in both life and the products they buy. Technical Cashmere™ is designed with that in mind – quality and time are our biggest inspirations.

How would you define what Technical Cashmere is?

Technical Cashmere™ is Kit and Ace’s foundational fabric and a member of our proprietary Qemir fabric family. It is cashmere that’s been enhanced with technical fibres like elastane and viscose so that it’s easy to wear, easy to care for, and retains its shape throughout the day. Technical Cashmere is the first of many technical fabrics we’re developing. 

What were your original ambitions when you and Shannon sat down and came up with Kit and Ace?

We wanted to elevate luxury fabrics by applying technical and functional attributes – the ability to wash cashmere and add stretch to luxury clothing. Our family has a tradition of innovation, anticipating trends and customer care. We wanted to put our industry experience and institutional knowledge into a new venture. With Kit and Ace we’ve created an entirely new category of clothing – Technical Luxury™.     

How would you describe Kit and Ace in one sentence?

We’re a West Coast, Canadian company that designs and develops luxurious, functional products for men and women living full-contact lives.     

Today you have numerous shops all over the world. How do you keep track of them?

We’re a company built on integrity – by ensuring integrity in everything we do, we’re able to maintain order at all levels. Plus we have a talented global team that keeps things running smoothly.  

Why did you decide on Redchurch Street as the location for the London flagship shop?

We design for the creative class, and to us, Shoreditch represents that creativity in London. We spent time here over the summer at our pop-up, The Space Shoreditch, and the positive response cemented our suspicions that it’s the right area for us.

As an area, what do you make of Shoreditch?

We’re excited by Shoreditch. It’s vibrant and it’s growing in a direction that mirrors what we envision for our brand.

 What kind of experience can we expect when visiting the shop?

We’re highly focused on engaging locally. Each of our shops incorporates hyper-local elements – custom, quality pieces created for us by local artists and contractors – which reflect the local market that the shop operates in. These pieces make up 30 per cent of our shop build-out. Our shops don’t have phones and we don’t accept cash. This is all intentional – when we’re with our customers we’re fully present. We operate quickly and effectively, saving people time.  

Who are your typical customers?

We design for people who are driven by the impact they have on the world around them. They lead busy lives and need clothing that can keep up – stylish, luxurious pieces that are still comfortable and keep their shape throughout the day. 

What’s hot right now for men and women at Kit and Ace Shoreditch?

The Dahlia Turtleneck and Halsey Bomber are staples for women. For men, the Fenley Crew and Hudson Bomber are big pieces for the winter.  

What are your plans for Kit and Ace in 2016?

We have big plans for next year and an impressive growth trajectory. We’ll continue to open new shops in locations around the world. We’re lucky to have a strong team that’s excited and up to this challenge.

Kit and Ace, 19-29 Redchurch Street E2 7DJ; kitandace.com

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