My first trip to the west coast of Canada was a three night stand with Kit and Ace shortly after the brand debuted and not long before they began plans for world retail denomination. I set off for my trip to Vancouver excited about the new company and curious about the much tossed around term, “technical cashmere”. Soon after my arrival and a full immersion in their ultra cool corporate culture, I was a convert. We rode a gondola to the top of Grouse Mountain, perused a market, debated the best of Beyoncé and talked personal and professional goals. I clicked Follow on Instagram for at least 10 of their stellar staffers by the end of our weekend getaway.
Sadly, it was announced yesterday that Kit and Ace will be closing all of their international retail locations. 9 Canadian stores and the e-commerce business will remain and continue operating under the scaled down system. A number of their head office staff, along with president Wendy Bennison, have been let go. The brand that once offered hope and forward momentum for Canadians in the fashion industry, has unfortunately succumbed to the reality of retail.
It’s hard to come to grips with the idea that a company which grew to 700 employees and 61 stores in just 3 short years has lost its way. The ambitious and inspiring growth plan was too much too fast. As warm weather rolls around I’ll be pulling out my favourite travel shorts and crisp striped shirtdress that have made it to my list of summer faves and hope Kit & Ace finds its footing.