Head of Brand
COMPANY: Kit and Ace and Ride Cycle Club
The Story: The eldest of Lululemon founder Chip Wilson’s five sons, at the age of 10 JJ Wilson turned his parents’ garage in Kitsilano into a clubhouse for a dozen kids devoted to making money through lemonade stands and car washes. Supplementing what he learned from the family business, he worked as a trend forecaster for Holt Renfrew while completing a commerce degree from Ryerson in Toronto. After stints with the Clinton Foundation in New York, Advent International in Boston and Wings + Horns menswear line in Vancouver, he returned to Lululemon to reset its menswear vision. In mid-2014, JJ and Shannon Wilson, his stepmother and Lululemon’s first designer, launched Kit and Ace. “What Shannon and I set out to do with Kit and Ace was find that perfect blend between how you could take technical performance attributes and apply them to clothing for your real life.” The day Kit and Ace opened, he also signed a lease for the first Ride Cycle Club, a spin studio he co-founded.
Markers of Success: Since launching in 2014, Kit and Ace has opened 60 shops worldwide, with plans to open up to 30 more this year, and counts over 600 employees; in 2016, it will also introduce a technical silk and a swimwear line. Ride Cycle Club, meanwhile, will expand to Toronto this summer and is scouting new locations in Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary.
PHOTO: ADAM BLASBERG