Fast Company released their annual ranking of the world’s 50 Most Innovative Companies for 2016. The list honours leading enterprises and rising newcomers that exemplify the best in nimble business and impactful innovation.
Kit and Ace, headquartered in Vancouver, earned the 25th spot on the list and was also named one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Retail. Other creative retail start-ups to make the list were Shopify, Everlane and Farfetch.
The company was launched in Vancouver in July 2014 by former lead designer of Lululemon Athletica Shannon Wilson and her stepson JJ Wilson.
“When we launched 18 months ago we had big plans and set out audacious goals,” said JJ Wilson, Co-founder and Head of Brand at Kit and Ace. “And today, we made one of those goals come true. This is a major achievement for Kit and Ace – we take pride in being an innovative company and we’re honoured to be recognized amongst some of the greatest companies in the world.”
The Canadian apparel brand exploded onto the retail scene and now has stores in over 60 locations across North America, the United Kingdom, Australia and Japan. In September 2015, the company introduced the addition of coffee shops within select stores.
Over the course of one year, Kit and Ace designed and developed 150 proprietary fabrics, 50 of which were commercialized.
“My background is in fabric development and design – it’s what I’m passionate about. My focus with Kit and Ace was to build technical, functional street wear working with some of my favourite fibres, like silk and cashmere,” explained Shannon Wilson, Co-founder and Creative Director at Kit and Ace. “We’re introducing Technical Silk™ this spring, and will continue to push ourselves to create proprietary fabrics that value people’s time and that function to keep up with a full-contact lifestyle.”
To view the full list of innovative companies, visit their website.