EDITION 03 // REFLECTING ON THE GLORIOUS DAYS OF SUMMER // SEPT 2021
Welcome to the Optimist’s Outlook, Edition 03 — our quarterly communique with updates on how Optimism is coming to life through our designs, partnerships in our communities, and our efforts to give back.
There’s a slight chill in the air, and with Fall around the corner, we’re closing yet another quarter. Looking back on the glorious days of Fun Sun Summer, there’s lots to reflect on and to celebrate. Cue the recap!
We’ve been focused on growing our ecommerce-led business approach, and will continue to look for ways to elevate the omni-channel shopping experience for our guests. We’re making key investments in the digital world while maintaining our flagship brick and mortar shops in key markets. Case in point is our recently re-opened Gastown shop. This location captures our dedication to innovation, with our design studio housed on the second floor. Along with this comes a reconfiguration of our HQ office space, reflecting our decision to embrace working from home and to provide flexibility to our team. From retail, to design, to how we work, we’re looking ahead with a 360° view and holistic approach to our business. Rose coloured glasses not required
“FROM RETAIL, TO DESIGN , TO HOW WE WORK , WE’RE LOOKING AHEAD WITH A 360° VIEW AND HOLISTIC APPROACH TOOUR BUSINESS. ROSE COLOURED GLASSES NOT REQUIRED.”
WHAT POPS UP, MUST POP DOWN
Smiling at the memories made in West Vancouver, we said goodbye to our Park Royal pop-up shop in August. And after much anticipation, we re-opened our Gastown shop in early September. Vancouver, you’ve been asking about this flagship location for a while, and we’re so excited to be back this Fall where it all began, at 165 Water Street. Our shops are a powerful connection point with our communities, and we look forward to returning to Toronto as well, in early 2022. Stay tuned for updates!
KIT AND ACE CAMEOS
In celebration of Mother’s Day, Chatelaine asked moms and daughters to test drive the season’s top looks, and the magazine’s style editors hand picked some reimagined basics to profile, including a few of our pieces. They chose our 3-in-1 Jacket for its versatility and resilient fabric, and shot it on a mother with her two daughters each wearing a piece (the long vest and the cropped jacket layer, respectively). It was exciting to see our design team’s fresh take on a classic trench coat resonate with an intergenerational audience. Styled with the Around Town Crop Pants and a couple summer favourite Feather light pieces, the 3-in-1 Jacket proved that classic style knows no age.
Another proud moment was when we recently spotted our reusable blue shopping bag in Canadian rapper Drake’s Way 2 Sexy music video for the launch of his Certified Lover Boy album. We certified love Canadians supporting each other — way to go Drake!
GRATITUDE AND APPRECIATION
In June we relaunched our Frontline Thank You initiative, offering frontline employees 15% off until the end of the year. And with a review of the definition of the “frontline”, we reflected on the immense cross-industry efforts that have carried us all through this ever evolving and challenging global pandemic. Thank you frontline, from the bottom of our hearts.
And because we know the battle is far from over, we donated 4,000 units of our Go Anywhere Masks this summer, offering our HQ and Shop teams the opportunity to gift them to organizations in their communities. They reached out to non-profits such as Mission Possible, Last Door Recovery Centre, the UBC Psychiatry Residency Association, and others striving to protect vulnerable populations from the effects of Covid.
FOR A CONNECTED CANADA
This Canada Day, celebration of our country’s birthday was outweighed by our nation’s collective reflection upon the injustices of our past, and the work needed for future justice and healing. With your support, we were able to donate $10,000 of July 1st sales to the Indian Residential School Survivor Society. The IRSSS provides essential services to Residential School Survivors, their families, and those dealing with Intergenerational traumas, by supporting research, education, and awareness. We’re honoured to support their mission of healing and couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for fueling our Optimism for a more connected Canada.
Mary Poppins isn’t the only one inspiring with words. This summer we leaned further into our Amplify Optimism vision by kicking off a new social series called #ThingsOptimistsSay. You may have seen the brightly coloured tiles on our social channels, bringing you quotes and inspirational musings. If you see or overhear something that brings joy or a smile to your face, it must be #ThingsOptimistsSay. Share it with us and you may just see it featured @kitandace.
IN THE DESIGN STUDIO
DESIGNING WITH LOVE FOR THE PLANET
Responsibility for our environment is top of mind in our design studio and our Fall/Winter collection reflects that priority. We’re staying true to our Made to Last Promise, and will continue to stand for responsible quality over fast fashion, with premium construction that will last the test of time.
Get ready for more Merino Wool this Fall. This thermoregulating natural fibre is derived from sheep that roam mountainous regions over scorching summers and freezing winters. Not all sheep are treated ethically but Our Non-Mulesed Certified Merino Wool guarantees the quality treatment of our source flocks and certifies that the controversial and painful process of mulesing during sheep shearing is avoided. Our newest Merino styles, out now, are also blended with breathable cotton for an even lighter weight.
Super stretchy Recycled Ponte also makes a return in versatile new styles for cooler days. These premium machine washable fabrics give new life to recycled plastics that have been spun into fibers, reducing landfill waste and fossil fuel consumption.
We can’t wait to drop new outerwear styles made of recycled materials. They’re lightweight, with water repellent shells, and insulated with post-consumer recycled content Primaloft® fill. Case in point is the All Day Long Puffer Jacket, inspired by the Keep Pedalling Jacket—a fan fave from previous seasons—and upgraded with warmer insulation to make the perfect trans-seasonal outerwear piece. We’re also introducing a men’s version of this beloved style: the brand new Mac Puffer Coat, inspired by traditional design and crafted with post-consumer recycled materials Watch for these styles and more, later this Fall.
“WE’RE STAYING TRUE TO OUR MADE TO LAST PROMISE, AND WILL CONTINUE TO STAND FOR RESPONSIBLE QUALITY OVER FAST FASHION, WITH PREMIUM CONSTRUCTION THAT WILL LAST THE TEST OF TIME.”
SWEATER WEATHER AND THE AESTHETICS OF OPTIMISM
Sweater weather makes us all crave comfort, and we’ve got the fabrics for it. Brushed French Terry is back in an even greater array of rich colours for Fall, with the same incredible softness you love. Plus, keep your eyes peeled for a scarf made of the same lightweight and insulating BFT fabric. The Brushed Oversized Scarf, dropping in October, is the perfect finishing touch for a cool-weather ensemble and feels like wrapping yourself in a cloud.
You’ll notice subtle touches of patterns throughout our Fall collection of elevated basics — we hope the fun stripes on our Fall Merino styles and the plaids coming on our Winter flannels will make you smile like our designers do when they picture them out in the world.
THE FUTURE IS VEGAN
Next up, Winter brings the debut of our puffy vegan outerwear, filled with recycled synthetic down that looks and feels just like real feathers. We’re determined to keep working towards a future where sound style choices can peacefully co-exist with nature. This way, everyone wins.
Over these last six months, we’ve seen some incredible momentum across the business. I continue to be excited by our progress in bringing to life our vision to Amplify Optimism. Thanks to the staff and our people and communities that continue to support us as we design for the future and work on building our Optimism Army for a more connected world. Follow along on our social channels @kitandace and sign up for our email list for the inside scoop on new arrivals, as well as updates on our ongoing work to Amplify Optimism in our communities.
And as always, please feel free to reach out to me directly with feedback, questions, or community partnership ideas you’d like to discuss (firstname.lastname@example.org)
It’s getting cool – so stay warm out there!
Chief Executive Optimist