Lululemon Founder Still Doesn’t Know How to Talk to Media

The client from Hell is back in a big way

We all remember Chip Wilson, founder/CEO of Lululemon, for his poorly chosen comments about the sheerness of his own company’s pants — which might not be appropriate for “some women.”

In December of 2013, the company tried to repair its reputation by replacing Wilson with another dude, and Carreen Winters of MWW discussed how Lululemon might bounce back.

But what about Chip Wilson himself?

We got an answer to that question via a profile/rehab piece in the latest New York Times Magazine. Wilson seems to have forced writer Amy Wallace to go rock climbing with him:

“For the climb up Grouse Grind…he’d brought along a publicist — also bedecked in Lululemon — from Sphere Consulting, a top Washington public relations firm.”

So the man finally came to his senses…or did he? Here’s his measured response to the Lulu outrage of 2013:

“…how women can say these things about me given everything I’ve done to build the women’s company?”

Said publicist should have slapped him after that line. The rest of the piece reveals him to be an unapologetic ass who also happens to be very good at making money.

Wilson later explains how he based the Lululemon model on a single “muse” — a 32-year old single professional “who all women want to be”:

“If you’re 20 years old or you’re graduating from university, you can’t wait to be that woman. If you’re 42 years old with a couple children, you wish you had that time back.”

The whole purpose of the profile, though, is for Wilson to announce that he’s stepping down from Lululemon’s board of directors to help run a company called Kit and Ace, which was founded by his wife and his oldest son and based on two more muses: another single woman and a dude who loves CrossFit.

The full piece is worth a read as a reminder that some people never learn…they just become obscenely wealthy.

Pic via Ben Nelms