Lululemon Athletica founder Dennis “Chip” Wilson further agitated the controversy surrounding the company’s yoga pants recall by blaming the complaint of the clothing items being see-through on the woman who wear them, not the material being used.
During an interview on Bloomberg TV, Wilson acknowledges that there’s “no doubt” Lululemon “made a mistake” with these yoga pants, but says it’s hard to be prepared for every aspect of their “technology” backfiring.
“When there’s a thousand things that could go wrong on a technical fabric, and when three of those things go wrong at any one time, something’s going to happen,” he says. “It’s almost impossible to build a quality control case for each one of those combinations.”
While that’s all fine and understandable, his problem comments come when the reporter mentions that there have been reports of Lululemon pants “pilling” (definition: the formation of small balls of fluff on the surface of the pants).
“There have always been pilling. The thing is that women wear a seat belt that doesn’t work and or a purse that doesn’t work or, quite frankly, some women’s bodies just actually don’t work for it,” he says. “Even our small sizes will fit an extra large. It’s really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there, over a period of time and how much they use it.”
Uh, what? Yes, Wilson manages to offload the blame from the actual fabric that he uses onto the size of the women who wear his clothing. Basically if there’s not a size that comfortably fits your body and has to stretch — and thus become see-through — to fit, you’re out of luck.
He then tries to clarify that he means that the surfaces people use the pants on might affect the way they stretch and pill, and claims that all women actually can wear his clothes. “I think they can. I just think it’s how you use it,” he says. But it doesn’t sound like that’s actually the case if he’s only making pants that fit certain body types and don’t allow a leeway for stretching to different leg sizes.
On the Lululemon “fit guidelines” there is a section that clarifies to buyers how they should know if a pair of pants is their size. “Luon is designed to have a matte finish. If there is an underlying sheen that reflects the light, this means the fit is too snug (to see the sheen we’re talking about, stretch the luon fabric width-wise with your hands),” the site reads. “Lululemon clothing should fit like a comfy second skin but shouldn’t be restrictive in movement – after all, you need to do headstands, sweat, and chase goals in your new item!”
What is your take on Wilson’s comments?