It used to be that Lululemon was synonymous with women’s apparel — specifically its acclaimed yoga pants.
But in 2015, all that changed during a call when CEO Laurent Potdevin told investors the men’s ABC (anti-ball crushing) pants were one of the company’s best-selling items.
We reviewed the pants favourably, calling them comfortable and versatile. Others, like Wall Street analyst Paul Lejuez, also praised the $128 pants.
“I’ll just admit it, [Lululemon’s] Commission and ABC pants are the most comfortable pants I own,” Citi’s Paul Lejuez told Yahoo Finance.
Lejuez said he would wear them to work if it weren’t for one thing: “There is a black logo on the side of the knee,” he said.
When we reviewed the pants, we didn’t really think much of the logo, but our casual office we wore them in probably had something to do with that. A man dressing for a traditional banking setting like Lejuez would have more of an issue. And since this is the type of customer Lulu is attempting to reach for its men’s brand, this is a major problem for the brand.
Other reviewers at Business Insider noticed the logo, taking issue with how visible it is. They criticised the pant’s logo for making obvious the wearer did not have “normal” khaki pants on.
“I wouldn’t like it if Levi’s had a big Levi’s logo on the pant leg, let alone if a company that’s mostly known for women’s clothes,” said Christian Storm, Business Insider’s former visual features editor. “If Lululemon people out there are listening, take that off. It looks stupid.”
For Lejuez, it was less about the logo specifically and more about having a logo at all.
“I can’t risk getting called out wearing yoga pants to work,” he said. “I couldn’t have a Nike or UA logo on the side of my knee either. It just isn’t an acceptable place for a logo on ‘work pants.’ So I don’t wear them to work.”
The solution, to Lejuez, is easy.
“Take away the logo, open up a new market,” he says.