Thought Provoking Marketing Campaign from Kit and Ace coming to the Shay in Shaw

8th and Florida Ave, NW

From Kit and Ace’s website:

“Your time is precious and your comfort is paramount.
We create designs that look good and feel amazing, so you can
forget the small stuff and get on with the big stuff.

Shannon is married to JJ’s father, Chip Wilson, the founder of lululemon. During their time spent travelling abroad and living internationally, JJ and Shannon recognized a void in the luxury apparel industry. After spending years dressed head to toe in stretchy performance wear, they were looking for clothing that offered the same functionality but that met their desire for sophistication, style and luxury. Since they couldn’t find what they were looking for, they created it.

Shannon’s institutional knowledge and experience in product design teamed with JJ’s insights into fashion and retail have culminated into the vision that is Kit and Ace. Their plan is to deliver innovative products that provide comfort and ease of use to the wearer, while still offering the style and quality of the luxury brands they love.”

Ed. Note: I can’t tell if they’re kidding, being serious or just captured snippets of conversations they overheard in a middle school cafeteria for the signs they posted in the windows:




Florida Ave looking West towards 9th Street

109 Comment

  • “I can’t tell if they’re kidding, being serious or just captured snippets of conversations they overheard in a middle school cafeteria for the signs they posted in the windows:”

    well- any way you slice it…#thisisrealtalk

    • NO clue as to the of seriosity in their copy, but their plan is to open 30 stores this year, so they at least plan to spend some serious money. A machine washable “technical cashmere” T-shirt for $100? Where do I sign?

  • Traveling abroad AND living internationally? I want to punch jj in the face after reading that. I’m guessing this is not jj of cheesesteak fame from a few blocks away.

    • Hahaha. And wow…since they’ve both traveled abroad and lived internationally (all while on the hunt for luxury apparel that they just couldn’t find, no matter how far and wide they voyaged?) they just had to come back to hipsterville and sell it at hugely marked up prices, right?
      Reads like J. Peterman for the “lattes and laptops” crowd and appears both more expensive and more insufferable than American Apparel. At least AA makes their stuff in the USA, not clear from the website where all of this “technical luxury” comes from.
      And geesh, I am so tired of these lifestyle brands….get some originality and build a life for yourself people, don’t think you can just buy one because it uses subtle labels.

  • According to their website, they sell $100 t-shirts.
    They can go f themselves.

    • But the $89 tank tops are marked down! Unbelievable. There aren’t even any interesting colors or designs. It’s like the men’s underwear section in Walmart but with City Center pricing.

    • hahahahah a grey t-shirt is $88. What plausible reason would someone pay that much for a plain t-shirt? There’s not even some ridiculous logo (whatever that whale company) to show everyone how much you spent.

      • Are they also cultish Landmark weirdos, like Chip?

      • Because you can? There seems to be a lot of people in this city that seem to have way too much money just burning holes in their pockets begging to be spent on $100 shirts.

      • do not underestimate the spending power of those members of the 1% with far more money than sense…it’s strange to think, but for enough spenders out there a $100 t-shirt is on the same level as a package of hanes for many…

        • To be fair, much of the same can be said about the 20%ers as well, except now we’re talking $25 shirts instead of $100 ones (or pick just about any other commodity).

      • Aglets


    • Hahaha! This was my exact reaction! Can we be friends?

  • My generation is sad, I wish there were something I could do.

    • Don’t fret – this is nothing new – you just weren’t around for last generation’s obscene marketing blunders.

  • I hope this business fails.

  • justinbc

    I always love it when businesses say “we looked all over for this type of thing but couldn’t find it, so we just made it ourselves!” And then show me something that I can find somewhere else on the internet in like 60 seconds.

    • +10000000

      this is such a lazy brand philosophy and sooooooooo tired at this point – it’s amazing to actually come across something that truly is different from every other new “high end casual wear” brand out there…

      and don’t even get me started on the trend of wearing yoga apparel 90% of one’s life…is everyone really “just coming from the studio” when they go grocery shopping, walk the dog, go to the bodega for beer, get a manicure, get a haircut, go to the bank, go to the museum, etc. etc. ad infinitum? gaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

  • “Do you think people will buy my t-shirts if I put vapid questions on my store’s windows?”

    #thisisrealtalk #isthisthereallife #isthisjustfantasy #hashtag

    • #ihopetheydont

    • I like your username, by the way. (And in a similar vein, the usernames Archduke of Argonne and Baron of Brightwood.)

    • #caughtinalandslide #noescapefromreality

    • If Soul Cycle is any indication, there’s a huge market for overpriced vapid ish. To each their own, I guess.

      • I agree that the window questions are silly, and I’m not a big Soul Cycle fan. But I think it is interesting that you think that Soul Cycle’s popularity is an indication of the market for “overpriced vapid ish.” It is certainly not the most expensive or kooky workout/activity out there, and yet you single it out. What about Crossfit, or personal training, or reformer pilates–which can all cost at least as much as Soul Cycle? We can point to all kinds of gender-neutral overpriced things–expensive cocktails, for instance. Is your association between Soul Cycle and vapidness a result of the fact that young women go there to workout to fun pop music?

  • Is it too much to ask that we have “NORMAL” retail around here…you know like where a dude can go and buy some regular priced jeans? Is this like a marked up South Moon Under?

    • DC does normal poorly. that’s why you have to hunt for decent pizza, bagels, or even crabcakes (I just tell people that you know you’ve left Greater Baltimore when the crabcakes begin to suck) but you can find all kinds of overpriced trendy junk. We have lots of young people who over-estimate their sophistication based on education & social background and middle aged people who are less cultivated than they think. In the short run, it’s difficult to go broke appealing to those sensibilities–but in the long run something decent or useful is probably going to pay off more.

      • Good point. Decades of suburbanization and middle-class flight probably deserve most of the blame, followed by waves of gentrification after being the “scary place” for so long. To grossly oversimplify, that’s how you end up with crappy corner take-outs next to artisanal small plates and not too much in the middle.

      • That One Guy

        CF folks has a good crab cake. No need to hunt for that. Next…

  • That One Guy

    The idea of “technical cashmere” is baffling to me. Yes, the fabric is soft, but cashmere is supposed to be a warm fabric, no? My sister bought me a t-shirt from their pop up store in Union Market and have not worn it yet.

    • OF COURSE they have their stuff at Union Market. That place is a marked up twee huckster shakedown.

      • To be fair my household loves Harvey’s…and some Trickling Springs soft serve because who doesn’t like soft serve?

    • Even Patagonia which can go on and on about their materials doesn’t veer into this territory with the their cashmere.

      • Yeah, but Patagonia actually has amazing stuff and the best customer service in the industry. They can blather on and I’ll still pay them.
        What other companies will repair or totally replace a 20 year old jacket for free?

    • I don’t know about cashmere proper, but lightweight wool is amazing at wicking moisture and breathes really well, regardless of temperature. Check out Smartwool if that’s what you’re after – highly recommended. (While I’d guess cashmere works similarly to wool, it seems awfully unnecessary.)

      • I love Smartwool! Silk undershirt + Smartwool + mohair sweater (best yard sale find ever) + down vest = ready for anything.

        • And though this isn’t the Rant and Revel place, let me just revel a bit – I am proud that I finally managed to throw away the down vest I’d been wearing for 25 years, (that I got for free out of the left-behind bin in a youth hostel in Australia) and buy a new one! (I am clearly not a customer for this store!)

          • That One Guy

            After 25 years is it even down or more like pulverized feathery dust clumps?

          • Quality down seems to last forever – I recently patched/repaired an eiderdown comforter for an elderly friend (Oh shit no smoking in bed!!!) that was 50 years old and the down was still good. In my vest, the down was still fluffy but it was bulky & ugly and all the fasteners had failed.

  • Egad

    “I can’t tell if they’re kidding, being serious or just captured snippets of conversations they overheard in a middle school cafeteria for the signs they posted in the windows.”

    Cracking up! Those “deep thoughts” were TOTALLY scribbled on the outside of some artsy Junior High kid’s Trapper Keeper…or from an episode of My So Called Life. Oh no! What will Jordan Catalano say when he finds out?

  • jim_ed

    So judging by their collection and haughty dispshit copy, it appears to be the Gap for people who think they’re too good to shop at the Gap. Cool story with weird Oedipal undertones, bros.

  • J. Peterman has better copy than this place.

    “Ruining the very $99 t-shirt I was about to return.”

  • I find it interesting, or rather, stupid, that they would ask if we all see the same colors when their entire line-up is composed of…..the same colors.

  • So, wait. Shannon is gallivanting *internationally* with her stepson, spending late nights heads bent together over the newest luxury performance designs, fondling samples of technical cashmere… Poor Chip.

    • I Dont Get It

      Yeah there was an ick factor to that!

      • +1. I had to go back and re-read the sentence “Shannon is married to JJ’s father, Chip Wilson, the founder of lululemon” a couple of times to figure out that the woman and man running this company (and apparently gallivanting internationally with each other) are a stepmother and stepson.

        • Me too. I thought they were a couple! They are the same age… creepy is that for JJ?
          Ick ick ick.

  • So much for attempting to live in harmony with the rich heritage and history of the neighborhood (pre-riots before someone points out the neighborhood’s demise following the assassination of the biggest civil rights’ leader in American history). Seriously, this neighborhood is a few years out of food desert status and now the spawn of a racist, weightist Trump wanna-be is peddling $100 t-shirts? #thisisbullshit

  • “Do you think we all see the same colors?”

    Hm…nah. I think these people only see green lol

  • Looking at their online store, it looks like all they’re selling is really expensive pajamas…in really drab colors.

    Also, anyone else weirded out by the family tree here? Stepmom and stepson go into business together on an entirely generic idea and try to bank on the cache of the dad’s wildly successful athletic-wear brand. I take it dad just bankrolled this crackpot of an idea to keep his wife and spoiled son busy. “JJ’s insights into fashion and retail” = JJ likes to shop. “Shannon’s institutional knowledge and experience in product design” = Shannon once had a job and likes to tell people what they’re doing wrong.

  • To be honest I’m excited to check them out when they open close by where I live. I think there is a market for $100 T-Shirts and I’ll buy one to try it out. There is clearly a market for $14 cocktails and $18 Hamburgers in DC so one can say this brand fits right in. I also can say being a Lululemon Customer the $125 Hoodie I have from 4 or 5 years ago has held up 100x better than the one I bought on vacation at The Gap for probably $25 and the Uniqlo one I bought online. Sometimes the price justifies the quality difference.

    • You embody everything that is wrong with DC.

    • Well that’s good, because we know how Lululemon clothes don’t work for “some women’s bodies.”

    • totally agree with this. I thought lulelemon stuff was expensive when I bought a couple shirts and pants five years ago from the newly-opened P street location, but i’ve found it to be by far the most comfortable clothes I own and I reach for them more frequently than anything else. Great to wear on long flights, among other things, thanks to being breathable and stretchy. So yeah I’m excited about kit and ace, despite all the whining from the commentariat.

      • I agree Lululemon is overpriced, but some of their workout gear is amazing quality (some – not the see through pants they tried to release last year!). If you run, lift, or do anything physically demanding often enough, you know how challenging it is to wear gear that interrupts your workouts. I’ve tried Target, gear from Marshalls, etc – and some of their stuff is comparable. But I’ve also had enough cheap workout pants fall down when I am doing burpees and I don’t really need to show my gym that much information. I have some Lululemon pieces and take good care of them because they will last a lot longer than any Target workout gear if I do (and they have).
        That said, I am not about to give Kit and Ace any of my money. I’ve spent enough on Lululemon and know too much about Chip Wilson and his family at this point; I wish I had done more research before I bought any actually. I figure I have all the gear I need right now and have given that company enough of my money. I justified spending $98 on a perfect pair of running pants that I have worn for 4 years to the gym, yoga, races, and a quick trip through Safeway. I cannot justify $98 for a freaking t-shirt, technical gear or not. I like the idea of a comfortable clothing that looks professional, but no. Not from these folks and not at this price point. There are too many alternatives out there to justify those prices.
        But hey, if you like Lulu and want to try Kit and Ace, go ahead.

      • justinbc

        I’ve got some of their running pants for men and they’re outstanding. Best pants for outdoor workouts I own and a lifesaver in cold weather.

  • These comments have me cracking up this morning. 🙂

  • finally, a good, raucous 50+ comment thread for the week…was getting pretty bored at work…keep ’em coming!

    • I think it’s because these folks helicoptered into DC with a metric butt-ton of money to open a vanity project. Most likely based on the recommendation of a market research-“trendspotter” who told them that Shaw is a “hot new area.” Barf-gag-barf.

  • Let me guess – these $100 shirts are made from the tears of children in Sri Lanka, Vietnam, or the Philippines. For about $10 each. Some lifestyle.

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