Chip Wilson, the founder of Lululemon, has resurfaced to launch scathing critiques at the athleticwear giant, reigniting a decade-old feud with the brand.

Despite stepping away from the company almost a decade ago, Wilson’s comments thrust him back into the spotlight, sparking questions about Lululemon’s commitment to inclusivity.

 Lululemon today, no distinct identity?

In a candid interview with Forbes, Wilson expressed dissatisfaction with Lululemon’s approach to diversity, likening it to the retail giant, the Gap, and labeling it as a pursuit to become “everything to everybody.”

The Lululemon founder argued passionately that a brand should maintain a distinct identity rather than trying to cater to every demographic, asserting, “You’ve got to be clear that you don’t want certain customers coming in.”

Adding fuel to the fire, Wilson dissected the faces featured in Lululemon advertisements, using descriptors such as “unhealthy,” “sickly,” and “not inspirational.”

Body images and marketing practices

His comments have reignited a debate on the portrayal of body images in the world of athletic apparel, emphasizing the importance of responsible and inclusive marketing practices.

In a statement to CNN, the company emphasized that Wilson does not speak for the organization, his views do not align with its current values and beliefs.

Lululemon underscored the transformation it has undergone since Wilson departed from the board, making it clear that he has no involvement with the company since then.

Diversity and fashion

As the controversy unfolds, the spotlight remains firmly on Lululemon’s current stance on diversity and its ongoing efforts to navigate the intersection of fashion, inclusivity, and societal expectations.

While acknowledging that the journey toward greater diversity takes time, Lululemon emphasized its dedication to sustained efforts by its leaders.

The clash of opinions between the founder and the company raises broader questions about the industry’s responsibility to promote positive body images and embrace diversity.

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