Lululemon Founder Chip Wilson Blames Women's Bodies for Yoga Pant Problems

Lululemon founder says woman's bodies may be to blame for yoga pant problems.

ByABC News
November 7, 2013, 9:53 AM

Nov. 7, 2013 -- Less than nine months after Lululemon came under fire for the "sheerness" of its yoga pants, the company's founder says that woman's bodies may be to blame for problems with the luxury workout attire.

"Frankly, some women's bodies just don't actually work [for the yoga pants]," Chip Wilson said Tuesday in an interview on Bloomberg TV's "Street Smart" program. "It's more really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there over a period of time, how much they use it."

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Wilson's comment comes as the Canadian-based company is still trying to bounce back from the March 2013 debacle that forced it to pull nearly 17 percent of its popular black Luon pants from stores, showrooms and the website after customers complained the pants were see-through.

Wilson has said in previous interviews that the brand's yoga pants, which cost around $100 per pair, become see-through when women buy sizes that are too small for them.

Lululemon offered customers a full refund or exchange for the pants and said in June that it delivered the Luon pants back into stores within 90 days of pulling the line. By that time, the stock for Lululemon, which rang up $1.4 billion in sales last year, was down 17 percent.

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Now that the pants are back on the store shelves, Lululemon is facing a new barrage of customer complaints, this time involving the pilling of the fabric.

The company's Facebook page and website have been deluged with comments about the lessening quality of its products.

"Bought a new pair of groove pants in late-August ... they now look like they are YEARS old," wrote one customer. "I have cheap pants from Target that have held up better. Where did the quality go?"

The company says on the "Frequently Asked Questions" page of its website that "Quality is one of our core values," and that most of its product line is designed to "withstand five years of intended use."

When asked by Bloomberg's Trish Regan whether perhaps "not every woman could wear a Lululemon yoga pant," Wilson, who was joined in the interview by his wife and Lululemon co-founder, Shannon Wilson, had a direct answer.

"I think they can," Wilson said. "It depends on how you use it."

Lululemon started as one store in Vancouver, British Cilumbia, in 1998. Today it has 175 stores in the United States and many more worldwide.

The company ranked fourth among the most profitable stores in the United States, according to research company Retail Sails.

In June, Lululemon CEO Christine Day announced she would step down when a successor was named. Day, 51, joined Lululemon in January 2008 and oversaw the company as its annual revenue quintupled to $1.37 billion.

When reached by ABC News, a spokesperson for Lululemon said the company not issuing comment.