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Fashion Notes: Lululemon issuing IPO

This post has been edited to give background information.

Lululemon is a famous yoga and fitness wear company started in Vancouver. They are known for their yoga pants made of the fabric, Luon which are really comfy and they still look good. They are as comfy as sweatpants, but look better.  Previously, Chip Wilson (owner) sold majority shares to venture capitalists to expand the company.  This is most evident in the way they have been infiltrating shopping malls. Now Lululemon is issuing an IPO in order to expand to the US.

My dad asked me if he should buy some because I wear Lululemon pants at home. From the background knowledge of a girl that's been reading Business news since 2nd year University and reading fashion magazines since I was 12, I said no.

Here's why:

1) By getting bigger, Lululemon's marketing message feels less authentic.

When Lululemon expanded to Edmonton, I was very excited because it was situated on Whyte Ave. Whyte Ave gave Lululemon a cool, independent vibe. Whereas once they put themselves in Kingsway Garden Mall and West Edmonton Mall, their message of being healthy and creating a sustainable environment felt less authentic. It's like when McDonald's has on their bags to exercise. I'm not buying it.

2) Fashion is fickle.

As demonstrated as Gap when they switched target markets from being really young and then trying to appeal baby boomer women. It doesn't work.  In the 90's, Gap was cool for providing Casual Friday basics and now that trend has changed, Gap is not cool anymore.  I don't know how long this yoga trend will last. Actually, I don't think it's a trend anymore - but I don't think it has tremendous staying power to infiltrate our lives. 

3) Brand fatigue

In Vancouver, I really see this because girls are constantly wearing Lululemon when shopping, when going for coffee etc. Once one sees a trend everywhere, I don't think it will last - unless they are like Seven jeans and maintain their "upscaleness" by keeping prices high and maintain their distribution to selected locations.

4) Knockoffs

TNA by Aritizia really has the lululemon look down, so lululemon has competition as Artizia is also expanding.  Aritizia will be in Southgate Mall.

Also, I had a comment yesterday on my February 15 entry regarding my enthusiasm for wearing a dress like Scarlett Johanson's and how does this make me different from a girl carrying a fake handbag?

1) I'm not claiming to be wearing Scarlett Johanson's dress, I even showed my friends the picture that it was a knockoff.  The girls that are carrying fake handbags are wearing their fake LV's like it cost them $500+. In short, by wearing the dress, I am not implying that I am spending money like celebrities. Whereas, if one carries a fake handbag it implies status because they spent money on the handbag. Furthermore, I bought my dress before I saw it in the magazine.

2) You cannot trademark a white dress with a black ribbon. David Meister created a white dress with a black ribbon, and Vera Wang created a white dress with a black ribbon.  Louis Vuitton has trademarked their logo, and people are just taking that logo without authorization. There is intellectual property law protecting the logo of Louis Vuitton, but not a generic idea of white dress with a black ribbon.

I hate anonymous comments commenting on entries more than a month old. If you have something to say to me, just use your username. I keep my fashion journal open to increase readership.

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
michika
Mar. 22nd, 2007 02:18 pm (UTC)
I totally agree with your lululemon comments! I loved the stuff when it was in Vancouver! I had a bunch of stuff for climbing and other althetics, but now I just keep a few pairs around for running to the store. I agree the trend is passing or has passed and that their message feels very fake now.

Also, as someone who has had extensive experience with obnoxious anonymous commenters with nothing nice to say, ignore it. Like you said they can't be bothered to put a name to their post, nor can they say anything politely. Obviously nobody taught this individual that if you don't have anything nice to say, you aren't supposed to open your mouth!
starbucksweetie
Mar. 22nd, 2007 07:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the agreement about lululemon. As for anonymous commenters, I don't mind because I want to make it easy for people to comment. In fact, Gretchen from the Happiness Project commented on my blog. I don't mind being challenged on my views, but it's the Internet - just post a username.
bacio_di_estate
Mar. 22nd, 2007 02:20 pm (UTC)
I liked this entry alot, though I have no idea about the store/designer you're talking about. You've mentioned it alot though.
starbucksweetie
Mar. 22nd, 2007 07:03 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I just edited the entry to give more background info. www.lululemon.com makes comfy pants that look good. They were well known for having a "be healthy" image. Thanks for the compliment on the entry.
lucky_phu
Mar. 22nd, 2007 07:44 pm (UTC)
I think they are already in the states... I believe there has been a Lululemon in Seattle for almost two years now i think?

I think that they may be able to stay afloat as they expand just because thehy are not quite a fashion brand, but seem more akin to the lifestyle brand. Though the trend of yoga pants may fade away, I can see people being attracted to the fit/healty lifestyle they portray for a long time (and maybe even becoming mainstream).

In any case, hope the trend sticks around... those pants are soooo comfy! i wear them to the library to study all the time =)
starbucksweetie
Mar. 22nd, 2007 08:22 pm (UTC)
They are having difficulty of expanding in the States. Actually I'm not surprised that it was in a Seattle, based on the proximity to Vancouver.

I guess being mainstream is two sides of the same coin. You're advocating this will lead them to long term sucess, but I think being mainstream will make the brand less cool. You're right, that they are less of a fashion brand.

Regardless, I agree the pants are great because they are comfy and of good quality.
lucky_phu
Mar. 22nd, 2007 08:28 pm (UTC)
yeah, definately the more mainstream = less cool
its_electrical
Mar. 23rd, 2007 12:51 am (UTC)
I like the last part about the difference between fakes and look a likes. It bothers me so so much when people say "look at my new prada bag!" and it's a completely blatant fake, like made of duct tape and glue sticks.
starbucksweetie
Mar. 23rd, 2007 02:27 am (UTC)
The duct tape and glue sticks made me laugh! I was annoyed at that comment, I felt like I needed a post to explain my arguments.
mastermaq
Mar. 23rd, 2007 04:30 pm (UTC)
Just wanted to say this is probably one of your best fashion posts! GJ
starbucksweetie
Mar. 24th, 2007 02:49 am (UTC)
Thanks, that actually means alot because you've been reading 1+ years.
mastermaq
Mar. 24th, 2007 06:04 am (UTC)
Yup I have! Maybe it's because I don't know much about fashion heh...I liked the background info on this one.
(Anonymous)
Mar. 24th, 2007 05:55 pm (UTC)
ok, I understand your point. I really did not mean to come off rude in any way. By telling you my point of view, I hope that I sort of challenged you to explain what you meant. What good what it be to just say.."nice blog"..you wouldn't learn anything from it. As a fashion enthusiast myself, I find value in your blog because I find myself coming back it to everday! I have not got around to creating an account as of yet. I randomly stubbled upon your page one day and I'm also a Mcnally graduate and I'm a U of A general science student in my second year.
starbucksweetie
Mar. 25th, 2007 12:30 am (UTC)
Good stuff. I know you challenged me, and I really stood my ground.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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