Optimist's Outlook | Edition 5 | April 2022
Welcome to the Optimist’s Outlook, Edition 05 — our quarterly communique with the inside scoop on how Optimism is coming to life in our design studio, across our communities, and through our efforts to give back.
We’re closing another Q1 and looking forward to sunnier days. This year has begun with its fair share of challenges, but we’re still smiling in anticipation for what’s to come. First, let’s recap the last few months.
HULA HOOP DANCE PARTY
We dropped our limited-edition Optimist Capsule Collection in mid-January and are happy to see it resonating with our guests. Featuring graphic styles that reflect our enthusiasm for colour, ease of movement, and small details that delight, it’s a nod to simple joys. And what better way to celebrate the spirit of this capsule collection than with some hula hooping? It just so happens that our rockstar Graphic Designer Kassy is also a pro hula hooper, so we captured her moves in a video you may have seen on our Instagram Reels page and across our ad space. Kassy brought the Optimist Collection tri-stripe Kit Leggings to life, and revelled in the joy of movement, which is in line with her Optimism statement of finding joy in the simple things — like a good song and a hula hoop!
NEW STYLE SPOTLIGHT
The year began with the launch of our limited-edition handpoured candles. Fitting for a new year debut, they’re designed to fill homes with intoxicating scents like the salted air of the tropics and rich and woodsy sandalwood, and to spark the joy of Optimism for what’s to come.
January also brought with it the debut of our first Reels video series on Instagram. New Style Spotlight features our shop educators, who are styling masters armed with plenty of tips for outfitting trends. Follow along @kitandace to watch them share their fave pieces with ideas on how to wear them, inspired by all the creative styling that comes to life in our shops.
In February we took our Instagram followers behind the scenes, with sneak-peek clips from our first Spring photoshoot. It was set in studio and featured a trampoline to capture vibes of levity and the energy of the Spring season, with our clothes in dynamic motion. We also played with a giant Palm Springs-inspired backdrop. Leaning into our collective desire for sunny vacations, our Brand team went literal with their interpretation of getting away. Stay tuned as we continue to drop our Spring collection to see these images come to life on our site and across our social channels. And watch for more behind the scenes footage from seasonal photoshoots to come.
BEATS THAT BRING THE VIBE
With the launch of the first volume of our Sounds of Optimism playlist in late January, it looks like the tracks we love not only keep the vibe alive in our shops, but are also getting listeners grooving on Spotify. Like and follow Sounds of Optimism if you haven’t already, and feel free to send us any additions you’d like to hear via our social channels @kitandace. Then keep your ears perked for the next volume, as we’ll be updating this curation of feel-good tracks on an ongoing basis.
BREAKING THE BIAS
In honour of International Women’s Day in March, we joined the #BreakTheBias movement for a world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. Our CFO Melissa and I have both been personally inspired by the influence of strong female leaders over the course of our careers. We believe strongly in a future free of bias, so we’ll keep championing equality for women in our workplaces and communities. And in celebrating leaders blazing paths to #BreakTheBias, we brought back our Notes of Optimism initiative and encouraged our community to dedicate notes to inspiring womxn in their lives. Optimism knows no gender and we’re very proud of the impact that women are having on the retail industry and beyond.
Recognizing heroes across industries, we continue to support frontline employees and have extended our Frontline Thank You initiative to the end of 2022 as a token of our collective appreciation for their efforts. As health and safety regulations change across the country, we also continue to donate units of our Go Anywhere Masks to community organizations working with vulnerable populations.
COMING TO THE 6IX
You’ve been waiting for it, and we’re excited to announce that we’ve officially secured a home for our new Toronto location! We’ll be opening our doors on Queen Street later this Spring and look forward to Amplifying Optimism with our Toronto community. Stay tuned for the official opening plans. (Hint: they may involve a gumball machine…)
In the Shops
Our holistic 360° approach to our retail business means a focus on elevating the omni-channel shopping experience for our guests. With our in-shop pickup program now in full swing at all our shops across the country, we know e-commerce innovations are important. But there’s always something special about the IRL experience with the element of in-person connection. Coming out of the 2021 holiday season without any pandemic-related closures, we were delighted to welcome guests back into our shops, and noticed a collective appetite for the in-person experience. We’ll continue to prioritize health and safety in our shops, but we’re optimistic about connecting with more of you in person as we reintroduce in-shop activations in future.
IN THE DESIGN STUDIO
With our Made to Last Promise underpinning our fabric sourcing, we’re proud of the new textiles we’re getting ready to debut in upcoming collections. TENCEL™ fabric is sustainably sourced and made from wood-based fibres produced through a closed-loop system that minimizes environmental impact. The result is a soft and flowy material with a hint of stretch. Watch for it in women’s pants and dresses that will be lightweight, airy, and kind on the environment. We’ve also upgraded our beloved Pima Cotton with certification from BetterCotton.org, which guarantees sustainable farming practices and the ethical treatment of workers. Pima Cotton is a breathable fabric made from extra-long, more durable fibres from a premium variation of the cotton plant. It’s a superior softness you can feel against your skin, and we’ve blended it with modal so it’s easy care with long-lasting shape retention.
As always, we’re listening closely to your feedback to inspire new designs and variations on previous favourites. Case in point is the recently dropped men’s Navigator Essential Pant. Part of our Spring collection, this design incorporates requests for a more office-appropriate pant. Branding details and logo placement are more subtle on this style, and the signature shaped waistband found on many of our Navigator styles is replaced with a classic straight waistband design, plus there is a bit more room in the leg. And of course, they’re crafted from the same ultra-resilient 3XDRY® Navigator fabric you love for its stretch, water repellency, and moisture wicking properties.
Also new to our Spring styles is a greater range of sizing, with more relaxed fits to accommodate more body types. This includes more athletic fits across our collection of men’s pants, and a beautiful array of silhouettes in women’s pants — from wide leg to tapered cuts, and everything in between. You’ll also notice more XXL options for men and both XXS and XL options for women for several new and Most Loved products.
And we continue to play with bright colours and patterns like fun stripes, across pieces ranging from button-up shirts to laidback tees and sweaters. It’s feeling like Spring, and we’re dropping styles that will have you greeting brighter days in full colour!
So far 2022 has us continually learning and adapting, as we work together to overcome the ongoing global inbound supply chain challenges. Over the last few months, we’ve faced congestion at local and overseas ports, combined with ongoing container shortages and the skyrocketing costs of international shipping. As a result of shipping delays, we’ve pushed back drop dates for parts of our Spring collection and are pushing ourselves to be extra creative in celebrating the styles that we have on hand and in shops. We continue to work hard to bring you the quality styles you love — drawing upon logistical adjustments and plenty of unfaltering Optimism in the face of these disruptions — and are confident that our resilience will carry us into brighter days.
As always, a heartfelt thank you goes out to all of you in our communities for your continued support as we design for a greener future and Amplify Optimism for a brighter and more connected world. Follow along on our social channels @kitandace and sign up for our email list for the inside scoop on everything we’re up to. If you have any feedback, questions, or side-splitting dad jokes you’d like to share, please reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s to heading into Spring with relentless Optimism!
Chief Executive Optimist