UPDATE: On Dec. 9, 2013, lululemon announced that founder Chip Wilson will step down as board chairman before an annual meeting in June 2014. Laurent Potdevin, formerly president of TOMS, will become CEO, replacing retiring chief Christine Day. Wilson's board chairmanship will be given to senior board director Michael Casey. According to Bloomberg, some felt Wilson's ongoing role in the company had hampered the CEO search. "Chip was viewed as a liability," analyst Anna Andreeva told the news service, "and I think that turned off a couple of potential CEO hires."
Original item here:
If you're one of the many women who seem to be having problems with lululemon yoga pants, the brand's founder has a question for you: Have you considered blaming your thighs?
"Frankly, some women’s bodies just don’t actually work for it," Chip Wilson told Bloomberg Television during a discussion of the company's patented and problematic material, luon.
After having to recall 17 percent of its yoga pants earlier this year due to complaints they were see-through, the yoga retailer recently began hearing from customers having issues with pilling and torn seams.
"It's about the rubbing through the thighs and how much pressure is there," he told Bloomberg's Street Smart program in the segment below. Here's how that's being translated today by bloggers, activists and angry customers: If you don't have thigh gap, you're not cut out for lululemon.
Wilson's statement comes on the heels of former employees accusing lululemon of discriminating against larger women by hiding its biggest sizes, 10s and 12s, out of plain sight.
As you might expect, lululemon's Facebook page is being flooded today with complaints from customers who feel the brand is lowering its quality and trying to pin the blame on women's body types.
"Basically your company is saying, 'You should only have the pleasure of overpaying for our inferior product if you are super skinny,'" summarized one Facebook commenter. "It's not just that you think normal size women should not wear your crappy product, you believe thin women are dumb enough to pay for poor quality workout pants."
UPDATE (11/9/13): lululemon has released the video statement below from founder Chip Wilson. It's just shy of a minute, and if you were expecting an apology, this isn't it. The message is confusing, and "I'm really sad for the repercussions of my actions" seems like an apology to lululemon employees, not the consumers. He closes with a cryptic request to "stay in the conversation." What do you think? Are you buying it?
We hear you. A message from Chip Wilson. Let's stay in the conversation: http://t.co/R2sbl1g1oj
— lululemon athletica (@lululemon) November 9, 2013