Shannon and J.J. Wilson, wife and son of Lululemon's (NASDAQ:LULU) founder and former CEO Chip Wilson, recently launched a streetwear clothing boutique. Kit and Ace, backed entirely by the Wilson's family money, opened its flagship in July in the heart of Vancouver's Gastown neighborhood.
Only time will tell if the "technical cashmere" line is as successful as Lululemon's athletic brand, reported CNBC.
Lululemon has faced significant problems in the past year and a half. But despite setbacks in management—Chip Wilson recently agreed to sell half his remaining shares, 27.7 percent, to Advent International, ending a one-year battle with the board—and production—last year yoga pants had to be recalled for being so sheer that they were see-through—Lululemon has done remarkably well since its launch in 1998.
Kit and Ace plans to open five new shops across North America in November and at least 100 stores by 2019. After this continent, the team hopes for a presence in Australia, Asia and Europe.
Shannon is hoping for a partner that can take the line global sooner than expected. A lover of luxury fabric, she wanted to combine it with sportswear and then trademarked her own "technical cashmere."
Pop-up style outlets are also set to open in the upcoming months in Toronto, New York, San Francisco and three other cities. Kit and Ace can then get into a market quickly while they search for a more permanent location.
Kit and Ace started with four employees seven months ago and now has a staff of 130. Chip Wilson is not one of them, serving only as a mentor.
Lululemon is also in a growth phase. The brand announced earlier this month that it plans to open its first men's store in New York City this fall, and will unveil several more by 2016.
-See this CNBC article
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