As you are all aware, I own a fair amount of Lululemon clothing. I have two pair of black running Capri pants that I wear interchangeably. The oldest pair goes to most events because they are the most comfortable, and I've been wearing them for about seven years. The second pair, I bought two years ago, and the quality is not as good as the first; I am seeing a lot of wear, and there is now a hole in the thigh area. I believe this newest pair was purchased before the "sheer" era, or at least no one has told me that they can see through them. (Or maybe I should say, "Thanks a lot, jerks!"). I may give Lulu's pants another chance, but I'm not going to complain too much about a hole in a pair of pants (on the seam) that I've worn twice a week for two years.
I also like their tops, bras, and my fall/spring jacket with the nifty built in gloves.
The controversies surrounding Lulu in the last few years are upsetting. Part of your job as a CEO or marketing professional is to keep your company profitable, manage customer's expectations, and sell your image. Clearly, they missed out on some opportunities to take some Lemons and make Lemonade.
Here are a few ideas they should have considered that may have helped their image, and their sales:
1.) Make pants with different thicknesses: Some women love sheer pants. We know this because we still see plenty of women wearing them! Why not give those women what they want? Sheer for those who want to show some skin, regular for those of us who want to be able to touch our toes without showing our butt crack, and maybe even a thick pant for those colder months.
2.) Be earth friendly: Lulu could have taken a more earth-mother approach to the sheer pants, and donated the fabric to a worthy organization. I'm sure there is a good humanitarian use for all of that Luon. Maybe mosquito nets for children in Africa?
3.) Don't blame shit on your customers: I see nothing wrong with saying, "We try to create clothing that will be comfortable for most women. We can not make clothing that will be perfect for everyone, but we have many satisfied customers. We are open to suggestions about how to make our clothing better." That's it. Don't mention thighs (especially if you are a male), or say there is nothing wrong with your product. Someone should have given the CEO a speech coach is ultimately the problem here.
4.) Don't let your douche CEO talk on TV: Maybe Chip Wilson is part of the image problem. (Well, he definitely is now, in light of his comments on Bloomberg.) You should get to know someone before you judge who they really are. But, there is truth in stereotypes. Doesn't anyone else think that purchasing women's yoga wear from Chip Wilson sounds a little funny... no? Yes?
5.) Hire Suzanne: These people should hire me. I have some good ideas. Luon mosquito nets - um, genius. They've tried to get into cycling gear, and haven't made an impact yet. I have some ideas.
Ok Seriously though . . .
Lululemon's CEO, Chip Wilson, kind of seems like a douche. But, I still like LLL clothing. Michael Jackson's questionable lifestyle never deterred me from listening to his music, and I would be sad to lose "Bad" or "Smooth Criminal" on my iPod mix. I've decided to continue to wear luon.
Companies definitely need to keep their products awesome and their image clean in order to be popular with the public. But, ultimately, remember folks: Companies do NOT have an obligation to meet every person's fit criteria, or to fit every body type. They are out there to make money, and they have to pick a target market. If you don't like them, or they don't fit you - don't wear them.
Love your body. Find a brand that fits you well.
My thighs rub together too.