Retailer likely to take over Kit and Ace space

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

Detroit — Cashmere-blend retailer Kit and Ace closed its Detroit store as well as all of its other U.S., Australian and U.K. locations, according to the company.

Dan Mullen, president of Bedrock, which manages the space, confirmed the Detroit closure, effective Wednesday, saying he expects the store’s location at the corner of Woodward and Clifford to be re-leased in a “very short period of time to one of several prominent retailers.”

“We are disappointed that Kit and Ace made the decision to close all stores in the U.S., Australia and the U.K. Their Detroit location was a popular retail destination downtown and one of their most successful stores,” Mullen said in a statement.

The Vancouver-based “athleisure” brand retailer opened last June and was part a continuing revival of retail on lower Woodward.

JJ Wilson co-founded Kit and Ace with stepmom Shannon Wilson in 2014.

“I try to operate my showrooms like venues,” JJ Wilson told The Detroit News in June ahead of the Detroit location’s opening that month. “(They are) more about the brand experience, and showcasing the brand in a beautiful way.”

Kit and Ace built its brand on the fabric that’s soft, stretchy, durable and can be machine-washed. It sold pants, shorts, shirts and polos, sweaters, swimwear and accessories for men and women. Prices online range from $78-$128 for men’s T-shirts; pants start at $138. Women’s blouses start at $108; pants at $148.

Kit and Ace was created by the same family that started the popular Lululemon Athletica brand in 1998. Wilson’s father, Chip Wilson, founded Lulelemon and helped start Kit and Ace.

The Detroit location, like other showrooms, featured on-site tailors and sparkling water as well as art and design elements from local artists and photographers.

Its Canadian stores will remain open.

Staff Writer Ian Thibodeau contributed.