Lululemon founder Chip Wilson knows a lot about women's bodies. And their health issues. He founded the best yoga pants company ever (for women size 2-12)! This week he committed the unforced error of saying out loud that if women don't fit into Lululemon's pants, it's because of their thighs.
"Quite frankly, some women's bodies just actually don't work" in Lululemon's pants, he told reporter Trish Regan on Bloomberg TV.
"It's about the rubbing through the thighs," and "how much pressure is there."
Chip was on the show with his wife, Shannon, to promote their new 60-second meditation routine, which Chip admitted he likes to do while he urinates.
But talk eventually turned to Lululemon's see-through pants debacle that unfolded earlier this year. The company ended up recalling 17 percent of its product (and losing $67 million) after a batch of Luon pants turned out to be a little too sheer. Some customers are still complaining about the quality of their beloved pants, but Chip's got an idea — it's probably just fat ladies stretching them out. Shannon tried to explain her husband's comments by suggesting that sometimes women's pants wear out when they sit "on cement." Perhaps Cement Yoga is the next hot trend.
Chip Wilson isn't so much having a bad day as he is just being Chip Wilson. He's always had interesting things to say. As Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon notes, Chip even knows how breast cancer "came into prominence." In a 2009 blog post that tells the story of Lululemon's founding, Chip explains:
"Breast cancer also came into prominence in the 1990's. I suggest this was due to the number of cigarette-smoking Power Women who were on the pill (initial concentrations of hormones in the pill were very high) and taking on the stress previously left to men in the working world."
So then those women wanted to do yoga! In $98 pants.
But Chip's true vision can really be explained through — who else — Ayn Rand. Back in 2011, Lululemon's shopping bags were emblazoned with "Who is JOHN GALT?" in reference to the Atlas Shrugged character. At the time, Lululemon's website preached,
"Our bags are visual reminders for ourselves to live a life we love and conquer the epidemic of mediocrity. We all have a John Galt inside of us, cheering us on. How are we going to live lives we love?"
With yoga? Nah. If you're Chip Wilson, you're just living the life you love with a lot of money (and meditating while you pee). He helpfully noted at the end of the Bloomberg interview that he won't be the company's next CEO because "quite frankly, we're maybe too wealthy now."
Photo via Bloomberg TV. Lead photo by Sergey Nivens via Shutterstock.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.