Posted on January 3, 2024

Lululemon Founder Rips ‘Whole Diversity and Inclusion Thing’ as ‘Not Inspirational’

Shannon Thaler, New York Post, January 3, 2023

Lululemon’s billionaire founder Chip Wilson slammed the yoga wear chain’s “whole diversity and inclusion thing” as well as its use of “unhealthy” and “sickly” people in ads, some of which now feature models whom he considers “not inspirational.”

Wilson, who held the CEO title until 2007 and stepped down as chairman of the board in 2013 after he sparked outrage by saying that “some women’s bodies just don’t actually work” for the company’s yoga pants, told Forbes this week that Lululemon has “become like the Gap, everything to everybody.”

By Wilson’s standards, the Vancouver, Canada-based brand should be just the opposite: “I think the definition of a brand is that you’re not everything to everybody,” Wilson told Forbes. “You’ve got to be clear that you don’t want certain customers coming in.”

The remarks show that Wilson hasn’t changed much since 2013, when he was ousted as CEO from the popular brand — which operates over 650 stores around the world — also over a public gaffe that sparked outrage.


“Chip Wilson does not speak for Lululemon, and his comments do not reflect our company views or beliefs,” a Lululemon spokesperson told The Post.

“We have made considerable progress since launching our Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Action (IDEA) function, and we are proud of the goals we have achieved.”