Lululemon’s trigger happy loose cannon of a founder Chip Wilson is at it again. This time, though, he is full of regrets. Because for all of the insanity and cult-ure thrust upon us since the dawn of luon, it was the ex-lulu CEO’s comments about women’s bodies not being right for his idealistic image of perfect humans in yoga pants that spelled the end of Chip’s reign of greatness. At a recent conference, Wilson addressed the crowd telling them that his comments made during a live TV interview led to the “the biggest disaster of my life.”
The comments, if you don’t remember, were in regards to the poor quality see-through problems the company was experiencing. Wilson, instead, chose to blame it on women who have thighs that rub together, saying that “some women’s bodies” just “don’t work” for their pants.
“I was honest, but, I tell you, I was wrong,” Wilson continued in his trademark non-apologetic way. Once again he’s only really sorry for himself and his perfect life which was fine and Rand-y before women had to go about having perfectly normal thigh friction and complaining about the crappy pants construction.
“My life was perfect up until this point and then it became a disaster not only for me but my family and Lululemon,” said Wilson. He’s right about the disaster. After the body-shaming comments, there was a major backlash (bigger than all their previous backlashes!), and there was even a petition going around to stop Wilson and Lulu from shaming women’s bodies. Much more devastating, though, was the loss of $6 billion in market value. After those comments and the consequent fall out, Wilson resigned as CEO and eventually stepped down from the company’s board of directors.
Now that the manifesto-lover has basically severed his ties with Lululemon (besides his 13.5 percent stake), Wilson hasn’t shied from slamming the company even though he oversaw almost all of their major problems (and was the cause of a few of them). “Today, Under Armour is worth three times as much as Lululemon,” he said. Ouch. He blames most of it on Christine Day, though. Day was CEO during the see-through pants problem. According to Wilson, who did not use her name directly, a “she” stopped hiring product, quality and innovation experts, which he says “drove me crazy,” reports the Globe and Mail.
But to Day, Wilson was fixated on “disruption and clash,” she told Fortune in December of last year. “That wasn’t who I was and that wasn’t going to work for me,” she said. So she quit.
As for Wilson, besides lamenting his perfect life, he now spends his time creating the “new Lululemon” called Kit and Ace, and continuing to make us all very uncomfortable by his fundamental lack of understanding of where it all went so wrong. But he’s the millionaire, so we guess it doesn’t really matter how we feel about it.
This has been an episode of “Chip Wilson Regrets.”
- Lululemon’s Chip Wilson Is Finally Out, Leaves Trail of Women Issues, Moves On To ‘Next Lululemon’
- Chip Wilson, ‘Sad for People of Lululemon,’ Issues Apology to Employees, Asks Customers to Remain Loyal
- ‘Lululemon Diaries’ – Employee Recounts Cult-ish Corporate Culture And Disturbing Co-Opting Of Yoga
- Lululemon Gets Slapped in the Manifesto – A Provoking Parody