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Machine-Washable Cashmere? Kit & Ace To Take Over Marc Jacobs Spot

By Alisa Hauser | December 15, 2015 10:03am
 Kit and Ace plans to open its second Chicago storefront at 1714 N. Damen Ave.
Kit and Ace plans to open its second Chicago storefront at 1714 N. Damen Ave.
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DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser (Exterior); Julian scarf model (Kit and Ace/Facebook)

BUCKTOWN — A fast expanding Canadian maker of machine-washable cashmere for men and women plans to take over the recently shuttered Marc Jacobs spot on Damen this summer, according to the building's owner.

Kit & Aces's opening at 1714 N. Damen Ave. will follow on the heels of its new store at 821 W. Fulton Market in the West Loop that opened earlier this year.

John Krenger, the owner of the 102-year-old building — which also houses a BCBG Maxazria and The Daily Method, a barre fitness studio — confirmed Kit & Ace's entry to the area late Monday. Krenger said that if everything goes well with the build-out, the store would debut by June 1, a few days before the nearby 606's first anniversary.

The store is just south of a ramp to the elevated Bloomingdale Trail and along a stretch of street that both Wicker Park and Bucktown lay claim.

Based in Vancouver and run by Shannon Wilson in partnership with her stepson, JJ Wilson, Kit & Ace was founded in 2014 and has more than 30 North American stores or pop-ups, according to its website. Wilson is a clothing designer and the wife of ex-Lululemon CEO Chip Wilson.

Representatives from Kit & Ace did not immediately return calls requesting comment early Tuesday.

Kit & Ace's trademarked "Technical Cashmere" brand has the soft feel of regular cashmere, but can be handled more like cotton, and retains its shape throughout the day, according to reviews.

Located at the southwest corner of Damen and St. Paul avenues, the Jacobs' Marc by Marc Jacobs store opened in early 2008. The then-new shop showcased Jacobs "less expensive, urban-oriented line Marc by Marc Jacobs," the Tribune reported. After Jacobs moved in, several other national chains followed. Rents were driven up and smaller shops moved off Damen as rents became too expensive.

In August, Vogue reported that Jacobs was discontinuing the Marc by Marc Jacobs line and that the status of its retail stores were unknown.

Shortly after Marc Jacobs closed. Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) predicted that the space would not sit empty for long.

It's "likely that such a prime retail corner is quickly picked up by another retailer" Waguespack said.

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