Are your Lululemon pants see-through in the thigh area? According to Lululemon founder, Chip Wilson, that’s your own fault. After several pants were recalled because they eventually became transparent, Wilson blamed the defect on women with large thighs. We’re serious.
Here are his exact words in an interview with Bloomberg TV: “They don’t work for certain, some women’s bodies. […] 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.” Just so we’re clear, Lululemon is admitting to selling exercise pants that only work for thin bodies. Makes total sense. #InsertSarcasm
The backlash was heavy and immediate, prompting Wilson to apologize on YouTube. “I’m sad, I’m really sad,” he said. “I’m sad for the repercussions of my actions. 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.”
Is he sad that he discriminated against a group of women because of their size? It doesn’t sound like it. Plus-size women have considerable buying power yet he shows no remorse for deliberately disregarding that market. And to add insult to injury, he tried to explain Lululemon’s defect away by fat-shaming.
The ordeal sounds familiar. Abercrombie & Fitch CEO, Mike Phillips, initially remarked that he didn’t want “larger people shopping in his store.” Only 7 months later, the brand is expanding beyond a size 10, reportedly to pull themselves out of a financial slump. Now that their stock is down 4%, Lululemon should try and learn from Abercrombie’s big mistake, sooner rather than later.