Shopping Centers Today International

DEC 2015

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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clothing is not performance wear, and we offer a very different product," said JJ Wilson. The prem- ise is to design fashionable, comfortable street wear made for movement but not for sweating, he says. Kit and Ace is reengineering traditional luxury fabrics to create new attributes, such as washable cashmere blends, or luxury clothing with added stretch. One of its fabrics is a cashmere enhanced with man-made fibers for ease of wear and care and to help garments retain their shape throughout the day. "We take pride in our ability to innovate, anticipate trends and craft high-quality products," said JJ Wilson. The price points of the T-shirts, sweaters, trousers, skirts, dresses and blouses range from about $60 to $100. The concept was in development for roughly two years before launch. Besides the creative and technical aspects of the apparel, much time went into developing the business and financial plans, says JJ Wilson. "The growth is aggressive because there is a clear market demand and the response has been overwhelming," he said. "Our family's experience in the retail sector has al- lowed us to build the relationships and gain the knowledge we need to evolve this brand quickly." Kit and Ace is pursuing a variety of locations, including urban high streets, malls and lifestyle centers. In Minneapolis the company opened a store in the trendy North Loop neigh- borhood, adjacent to the Minneapolis central business dis- trict, and at press time there was a store set to open at Mall of America, in Bloomington. "Kit and Ace's approach to com- fortable and functional pieces, while still being stylish and so- phisticated, will no doubt appeal to our regional shoppers as well as our international visitors," said Jill Renslow, senior vice president of marketing and business development at Mall of America. "This brand is a natural fit for our retail mix." Kit and Ace is capitalizing on growing demand from con- sumers who want high-quality fabrics, plus fashion and com- fort, says Jeff Kreshek, vice president of West Coast leasing at Rockville, Md.–based Federal Realty Investment Trust. Kit and Ace opened a 3,800-square-foot store at Federal Realty's Santa Row property, in San Jose, Calif., at the end of Septem- ber. The store is situated near such high-end retailers as Gucci and Madewell. Northern California and Silicon Valley custom- ers tend to favor casual styles and quality brands, says Kreshek. "From a merchandising standpoint, it is right down the middle of the plate for what we do," Kreshek said. Federal Realty also signed Kit and Ace to lease a 3,250-square-foot store at The Point, in El Segundo, Calif. "The team there at Kit and Ace clearly knows how to build a brand and roll it out," said Kreshek. "As much as they are grow- ing in what seems to be by leaps and bounds, the locations they are going into are very strategic and well thought out." SCT 64 S C T / D e c e m b e r 2 0 1 5 r e T a i l i n g T o d a y P r i c e P o i n t s r a n g e f r o m a b o u t $ 6 0 t o $ 1 0 0 .

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