Lululemon Athletica founder Chip Wilson apologized last week for his controversial comment that implied not all women's bodies are made for his brand of yoga pants, but it doesn't look like the public will forgive him anytime soon.
Earlier this year, Lululemon was forced to recall some of its black, stretchy yoga pants after customers complained that the fabric was too sheer. Last week, Wilson appeared on Bloomberg TV to discuss the status of the recall and attempt to explain why people had an issue with his line of workout wear.
"Quite frankly, some women’s bodies just actually don’t work for [the pants]," Wilson said. "It’s about the rubbing through the thighs" and "how much pressure is there."
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Women took immediate offense to his remark, and said it implied that perhaps plus-size women shouldn’t wear yoga pants because their bodies stretch the fabric, causing it to become see-through. Online, former Lululemon customers vowed never again to buy the clothing.
Wilson issued a video apology a few days later in a last-ditch effort to save his brand.
"I'm sad for the repercussions of my actions," Wilson said. "I'm sad for the people of Lululemon who I care so much about that have really had to face the brunt of my actions. I take responsibility for all that has occurred and impact it has had on you. I am sorry to have put you all through this.
"For all of you who have made Lululemon what it is today, I ask you to stay in a conversation that is above the fray," he continued. "I ask you to prove that the culture that you have built cannot be chipped away."
But bloggers and YouTube users picked that apart too, arguing it was more an "apologette" than an apology.
"So... let me get this straight — you're not sorry for what you said, or for implications that 'some women's bodies' aren't right for your special brand of clothing — but sorry for the impact that your comments had on your company's bottom line. Nice," one YouTube user commented on the apology video.
"He's not apologizing to the general public at all," another wrote. "He's apologizing to the rich white skinny girls whom he loves his brand reputation has been tarnished."
Wilson's Bloomberg TV interview:
And Wilson's apology:
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