Kit and Ace, the technical apparel company started by Lululemon Athletica founder, and ex-CEO, Chip Wilson and his family, was reportedly acquired by Unity Brands, the company run by Canadian retail veteran Joe Mimran.

Kit and Ace was founded in 2014, financed by Wilson and run by his wife and son. In 2017, the company closed its 32 U.S. stores to focus on its nine Canadian locations and e-commerce business. In 2018, after further struggles, Kit and Ace’s CEO and former Lululemon executive George Tsogas bought the company from the Wilson family. The company now operates four stores in Canada.

Kit and Ace was sold for an undisclosed sum to Unity Brands, which is operated by Mimran, the founder of Club Monaco and Joe Fresh brands, former Canadian Tire marketing executive David Lui and Frank Rocchetti, the retailer who previously worked at Loblaw, Sears and Kroger.

The new owners plan to expand Kit and Ace through brand campaigns, product and increasing investment in resources.

“We are delighted to embark on this exciting new journey as the proud owners of Kit and Ace,” said Mimran. “Kit and Ace is renowned for its everyday essentials that effortlessly combine style, durability and versatility. We are committed to reinforcing the brand’s dedication to quality and fit, offering our guests products that inspire movement and empower individuals.”

Under the new ownership structure, Lui will assume the CEO role, overseeing the organization’s growth, operations, marketing, e-commerce, finance, and logistics from the head office in Vancouver. Product design and development will relocate to Toronto, managed by Mimran’s creative design team. Working alongside the new owners, Tsogas, the previous owner, will remain with the company, supporting the transition. Tsogas will assume the role of chief operating officer.

“With Joe and Frank’s exceptional track record in the retail fashion industry and George’s invaluable operational expertise, we have assembled a winning combination that will elevate Kit and Ace’s distinctive identity, foster creativity, and deliver unparalleled experiences for our guests,” said Lui. “This new chapter will allow us to amplify Kit and Ace’s creative vision, providing significant opportunities to expand the brand’s retail stores and e-commerce presence. Customers can expect to see the brand take center stage with compelling brand campaigns and a stronger online presence,” added Lui.

Lui has 25 years of experience as a senior executive retailer working for global brands, including Espirit, The North West Company, Mark’s, SportChek, and Korite. Mimran founded or co-founded Club Monaco, Joe Fresh, Caban, Pink Tartan, Gry Mattr, and Rise Little Earthling. Rocchetti boasts an extensive retail background, having held senior merchant roles at Sears and Loblaws, and overseeing captive apparel development for Coles Australia and Kroger U.S. Most recently, Rocchetti, with Mimran, were instrumental in the transformation of the Canadian brand Tilley.

Photo courtesy Kit and Ace