Lululemon says its yoga pants not meant for thick thighs

Fri Nov 8, 2013 5:43pm EST
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By Victoria Cavaliere and Solarina Ho

(Reuters) - When the founder of athletic apparel business Lululemon said his products were wrong for certain body shapes, some customers were quick to take offense, creating a potential public relations headache for the highly successful company.

"Quite frankly, some women's bodies just actually don't work for it (his clothing)," Chip Wilson said in an interview with Bloomberg TV this week. "They don't work for some women's bodies."

From New York to San Francisco, reaction was harsh.

"It's absolutely ridiculous. I've shopped there before, but I won't again," said Sashea Lawson, a triathlete and distance runner in New York City.

Across the country, barista and runner Raine Stark said women were tired of pressure to achieve "upper thigh clearance."

"It's problematic to try to shame women or push one body form," said Stark, 23, at an Oakland fitness shop. "If your thighs touch, it doesn't affect your quality of life. It's meaningless."

The company did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Wilson created a phenomenal success story with Lululemon Athletica Inc, whose net revenues have soared nine-fold since 2006 to $1.37 billion by the end of fiscal 2012.   Continued...

A Lululemon Athletica logo is seen outside one of the company's stores in New York, March 19, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson