Lululemon Founder: Women's Thighs To Blame for Yoga Pant Sheerness

Friday, 08 Nov 2013 11:29 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Lululemon founder Chip Wilson blamed the shape of some womens' thighs on the "sheerness" problem of their high-end yoga pants.

"The thing is when you push technology. We are a technology company, and when you push technology [that’s not like software] an actual physical product, there’s a thousand things that could go wrong on a technical fabric," Wilson told Bloomberg News. "It's almost impossible to build a quality control case for each one of those combinations."

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"Women will wear seatbelts that don't work, or a purse that doesn't work. Quite frankly, some women’s bodies just actually don’t work it," Wilson added.

Bloomberg Television's Trish Regan asked, "So the pants are more likely be see-through on some women's bodies?"

"No I don't think that way, even our small sizes would fit an extra-large. It's really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there, and I mean over a period of time and how much they use it," Wilson responded in an attempt to clarify his thoughts.

The issue arose earlier this year when customers wearing the yoga pants began returning them after they found that they were see-through.

In March, Lululemon CEO Christine Day initially defended the product and the decision by some retailers to not accept returns of pants that were sheer.

"The truth of the matter is, the only way you can actually test for the issue is to put the pants on and bend over," Day told the New York Post. "The pants passed all of the basic metric tests. It wasn’t until we got in the store and started putting it on people that we could actually see the issue."

The Vancouver-based company subsequently announced that it would recall its Luon line of yoga pants due to the complaints. However, customer issues with other Lululemon product lines continued throughout the year, according to Regan.

In June, Day announced she would step down from the company she joined in January 2008 once a successor was named.

In the interview, Wilson said he was still looking for a new CEO with more global experience, though he did not say who he was considering.

When asked by Regan if he would consider retaking the helm, considering he is the company's founder, Wilson said he would not be a good fit considering the company's size.

In 2012 Lululemon earned $1 billion in revenue.



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