Lululemon Is Moving to Spain

Lululemon Is Moving to Spain

Lululemon is moving to Spain. On Tuesday, the Canadian athletic apparel, accessories and retailer revealed plans to open two stores in Spain this fall, as well as a Spanish e-commerce site this summer. The move marks the company’s first European expansion since pre-pandemic times in 2019. 

Lululemon expanded its assortment to include a hike collection in June.
Courtesy Photo ASATO iiDA

​​“As a brand [that] supports wellbeing, Lululemon has a strong synergy with the active, balanced lifestyle enjoyed in Spain,” said André Maestrini, executive vice president, international. “We’re looking forward to connecting with Spanish guests through our website and at our first retail stores opening in Madrid and Barcelona. The strength of our model across product innovation, guest experience, community and culture provides a unique advantage as we introduce Lululemon to our newest market.”

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The e-commerce site will launch later this month, followed by two stores — one in Madrid and one in Barcelona — in September. Lululemon has nearly 40 stores across eight countries in Europe: France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.K. Internationally, the retailer has 579 stores. 

Lululemon unveiled its first collection of sneakers in March.
Courtesy Photo Jenna Saint Martin

Meanwhile, Lululemon continues to grow, improving on top and bottom lines in the most recent quarter, despite industrywide headwinds. In April, the retailer set its sights on a $12.5 billion revenue target by 2026. At the time, company executives said it also had plans to open new stores in Thailand and Italy within the next 12 months. In addition, a second experiential store will open in Houston later this year. 
The firm is also deep in product expansion mode, releasing women’s sneakers; workout hijabs; hiking, golf and tennis apparel; bags made from mushrooms; resale, and at-home fitness, all during the pandemic. Lululemon is also the official outfitter of Team Canada (a role it will retain through 2028).
“We’re in the early innings of growth,” Calvin McDonald, Lululemon’s chief executive officer, told analysts in April.

Lululemon Unveils Workout Hijabs

Lululemon Unveils Workout Hijabs

Lululemon’s workout hijabs are here. 

The “Scarf-style Hijab” by Lululemon.
Courtesy Photo

The athletic apparel, accessories and retailer quietly unveiled its latest creation last week: Lululemon hijabs. 
The head coverings are worn by some Muslim women in public. As a result, Lululemon said its design team consulted with “hijab wearers across the brand’s global collective” to create the assortment, which includes lightweight and moisture-wicking fabrics that “offer adjustable fits and distraction-free features to support guests during their activities of choice and as they move throughout their day.”

Traditional hijabs are worn by some Muslim women in public. Here, Lululemon’s version.
Courtesy Photo

The first two styles — the “Lightweight Performance Hijab” and the “Scarf-style Hijab” — dropped this month. The “OTM Pull-on Hijab” will be available later this year. The garments come in multiple colorways and range in price from $38 to $42 apiece. 

Lululemon’s “Lightweight Performance Hijab.”
Courtesy Photo

Lululemon follows brands such as Nike and Sweaty Betty in releasing exercise hijabs. The company declined to comment more on the launch. But the workout gear is just the latest for the Canadian company, which has expanded into golf and tennis apparel, bags made from mushrooms, resale and at-home fitness, all during the pandemic. Lululemon is also the official outfitter of Team Canada (a role it will retain through 2028).
Meanwhile, the company continues to grow despite industry-wide headwinds. In April, Lululemon set its sights on a $12.5 billion revenue target by 2026.

The Major Fashion Brands Participating in the Beijing Winter Olympics

The Major Fashion Brands Participating in the Beijing Winter Olympics

The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics are just a few days away and many major fashion brands are celebrating the Winter Games by creating high-tech uniforms for the athletes or creating capsule collections for fans.Ralph Lauren is back to design the official Team USA uniform, sticking with the traditional red, white and blue colorway in a collection of winter wear that’s also designed with temperature-responsive fabric that expands and contracts on the wearer in response to temperature changes.
Kim Kardashian West’s Skims brand is also continuing its partnership with Team USA as the official sponsor of the team’s loungewear, sleepwear and innerwear. Kardashian West embarked on the partnership for the Summer Tokyo Olympics.

Other nations are also getting their uniforms designed by major brands. In a big shift from the country’s denim uniforms for the Summer Games designed by Hudson’s Bay, Team Canada has joined with Lululemon on a multiyear Olympics partnership starting with the Winter Games. This Olympics, the athleticwear brand took inspiration from the red maple leaf on the country’s flag, creating activewear pieces in a rich red hue for the athletes.

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Here, WWD looks at the major fashion brands that are participating in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Read on for more.
Columbia Sportswear

Columbia’s Team USA curling team uniform.
Courtesy of Columbia

Columbia Sportswear is creating the official uniforms for the Team USA curling team. The brand is creating jackets, jerseys, pants and accessories designed in a four-way stretch fabric to optimize mobility. The pieces are also made with abrasion-resistant materials and Columbia’s Omni-Wick technology for accelerated moisture evaporation.

A style from Kith’s Olympics collection.
Courtesy of Kith

Kith has created another Olympic-themed collection to celebrate the winter games. The 27-piece collection features reimagined versions of Kith staples and includes a new logo designed by Kith for the partnership.
The pieces include a midi puffer jacket and quilted track jacket in white with a custom snow mountain graphic. Other pieces include hoodies, cardigans, reversible bucket hats, socks, water bottles and snowboards.

Lululemon’s Team Canada uniforms.
Getty Images for lululemon

Lululemon has signed a multiyear partnership with Team Canada to design the country’s Olympic uniforms. For the Winter Olympics, the team’s uniforms take inspiration from the red maple leaf in Canada’s flag, with pieces like puffer jackets, sweaters and leggings made in a rich red hue. The maple leaf is also embossed on some pieces, like the Team Canada bag.
Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren’s Team USA uniform.

Ralph Lauren is back to design the official Team USA uniforms, creating the garments with a signature temperature technology. The team’s Opening Ceremony Parade Uniform includes an anorak, midlayer jacket, pants, gloves and boots in a red, white and blue colorway. The uniform is designed with Ralph Lauren’s signature pony logo, as well as that of Team USA.
The brand incorporated an Intelligent Insulation technology into the garments, which is a temperature-responsive fabric made with two materials that expand and contract in response to temperature changes.
Customers can also buy the uniform through Lauren’s website and at select retail stores.

Chloe Kim for Skims’ Olympics collection.
Courtesy of Skims

Kim Kardashian West’s Skims has signed on again to be the official Team USA sponsor for loungewear, sleepwear and innerwear. Kardashian West started the partnership for the Tokyo Summer Olympics.
The brand released the ad campaign for the partnership on Jan. 13, with Olympians like snowboarder Chloe Kim, Paralympic cross-country skier and rower Oksana Master, bobsled champion Aja Evans, figure skater Madison Chock, professional short track and speed skater Maame Biney and figure skater Amber Glenn modeling the pieces.
The collection of tank tops, boxers, leggings, T-shirts, sports bras, underwear and sweatpants is available on the Skims website.

A look from the Spyder x Eric Haze Olympics collection.
Courtesy of Spyder

Apparel label Spyder has teamed with artist Eric Haze to design the uniforms for Team USA’s ski teams. Haze’s collection includes outerwear, base layers and accessories that are sustainable and include the artist’s star logo and hand-painted pattern work. Spyder and Haze created the collection based on direct feedback from athletes to create uniforms that were comfortable and efficient.
A similar collection is being offered on Spyder’s website for purchase, ranging in price from $25 to $149.

Volcom is the official outfitter for Team USA’s snowboarding team, with the uniforms sporting a red, white and blue striped faux rabbit’s foot for good luck. The brand is creating three uniforms for the team, which include the Owl 3 Layer Gore-Tex jacket and relaxed fit L Gore-Tex pants and a “Brighton” freestyle-inspired jacket and “Hotlapper” sweatpants. The brand is releasing a similar apparel collection on its website for Olympics fans.
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PETA Asks Lululemon About Slaughterhouse Practices

PETA Asks Lululemon About Slaughterhouse Practices

Lululemon Athletica is in the hot seat. Animal rights activist group PETA — which owns shares of Lululemon — submitted a shareholder resolution request Wednesday to the athletic apparel and accessories retailer’s board, asking Lululemon to reveal information regarding how Lululemon sources its goose down, which is used in some Lululemon jackets. 
PETA said shareholders have a right to know if Lululemon’s practices are “incompatible” with its animal welfare policy, and if so, how the company plans to reduce its impact on the animals. 
“Lululemon is selling jackets filled with the feathers of birds who are violently killed, betraying the yoga principle of ahimsa, or nonviolence, that it splashes on its shopping bags,” Tracy Reiman, PETA’s executive vice president, said in a statement. “PETA’s resolution would prove to Lululemon that it’s misleading its customers about the suffering and deaths of animals in its supply chain.”

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A spokesperson for Lululemon confirmed that the company received PETA’s shareholder proposal, asking the retailer to list down as an item in its proxy statement, as well as Lululemon’s 2022 annual meeting.
Lululemon did not say whether it would include down in the proxy statement or on the agenda of its 2022 annual meeting, but did say through the spokesperson that “we are committed to upholding strong animal welfare practices by working with our vendors to have visibility into down sources and can confirm 100 percent of our down products are certified RDS, a standard that is considered industry best practice.”
The retailer added on its website that “we require that animals in our supply chain are treated humanely and with respect. We don’t use down that comes from birds that have been live plucked or force fed. We work to ensure the traceability of our entire supply chain by following an industry best practice called the Responsible Down Standard. The goal of the RDS is to protect and improve the welfare of the ducks and geese that provide down and feathers. Following the RDS ensures that our down comes from geese that have been treated humanely.” 
In Lululemon’s 2020 Impact Agenda, which outlined the retailer’s multiyear social and environmental efforts, the company went one step further, saying that, “a full 100 percent of our animal-derived materials will be traceable or certified in line with our Animal-Derived Materials Policy by 2025. Since 2016, 100 percent of our down has been fully traceable and certified to meet the Responsible Down Standard. We are working toward responsibly sourced wool that is traceable and preferably certified by a third party, such as the Responsible Wool Standard. We’ll continue to increase visibility and transparency for the rest of our supply chain.”
PETA shot back, claiming that “all birds used for down end up at slaughterhouses, where they are typically hung upside down, they’re electroshocked, their throats are slit and their bodies are dumped into scalding water for de-feathering.
“More and more consumers are prioritizing corporate transparency and cruelty-free fashion,” PETA said in its resolution. “Lululemon’s consumer base expects our company to uphold values, such as mindfulness and honesty touted on its website. Consequently, our shareholders deserve full disclosure on the slaughter methods used to obtain down in order to assess whether or not these methods align with our company’s humane claims and values.”

Lululemon uses goose down as insulation in some of its outerwear pieces, a partnership with down supplier Downlite, because it has a “higher warmth-to-weight ratio than other materials used for insulation,” according to Lululemon’s website. “This means more warmth with less bulk, making it an excellent high-performance material for layering and sweaty pursuits.”
Downlite also partners with Ralph Lauren, Patagonia, Canada Goose, Vuori, Banana Republic and The North Face, among others, according to the company’s website. 

Athleta Launches Fitness Platform AthletaWell

Athleta Launches Fitness Platform AthletaWell

Athleta is upping its fitness game.
The women’s athletic apparel- and accessories-maker, which is owned by Gap Inc., has launched a new social platform called AthletaWell. 
“At its core, AthletaWell is really providing a safe space for women to navigate the complexities of modern-day womanhood and get expert advice on topics all rooted in female wellbeing,” Kim Waldmann, Athleta’s chief digital officer, told WWD. “[Topics] we’re afraid to ask for fear of embarrassment, or maybe they’re taboo, or we don’t want to look like we’re different than everybody else. Like, what are tips for sleep? Or fertility. Or even simple things, like I’m a DD, is there a good bra that doesn’t chafe endlessly?”

The platform also includes interest-based groups, where members can join in conversations or start their own; access to Athleta “guides,” or experts, such as yoga teachers, medical doctors, mediation guides, strength trainers, dietitians, physical therapists and motivational speakers, and links to events, both virtual and in-person around the country, such as run clubs and exercise classes, helping Athleta shoppers create community. 

AthletaWell, Athleta’s new fitness and wellness platform, is available by way of desktop and mobile devices and includes a section with Athleta “Guides,” or experts in various fitness and wellness areas. 
Courtesy Photo

“At Athleta, we really think about it in an omnichannel kind of way, to meet the customer wherever she wants to be and wherever she wants to be,” Waldmann said. “We know that there’s so much value in driving brand loyalty and deepening our engagement without customers. We know that our loyalty program customers spend over two times more with us than our non-loyalty member customers. So, for us to be able to offer [AthletaWell] as sort of a benefit of the loyalty program, it will drive more loyalty participation. And those individuals who are much more engaged with the brand spend more with the brand.” 

And Athleta has no shortage of loyal fans. The rapidly growing brand had revenues of $978 million in 2020 and roughly 200 stores around the nation. In January, Athleta set a new goal: $2 billion in revenues by 2023 and plans to open between 20 and 30 more stores a year. Three months later, the San Francisco-based business said it was also moving to Canada, launching an e-commerce site there. 
For the launch of AthletaWell, Athleta is also partnering with Obé Fitness, a digital fitness platform. Athleta Rewards members will be able to access exclusive 10-minute Obé Fitness workout videos for free on AthletaWell. 
“We know being active is an important part of our customers’ overall wellbeing, so we are thrilled to invest in and partner with Obé and offer the Athleta community access to this like-minded partner,” said Mary Beth Laughton, president and chief executive officer of Athleta. “As our brand continues to grow, this investment creates a unique engagement opportunity for our customers and helps us build even more loyalty over time.” 
Waldmann added that the partnership will help Athleta reach a wider audience. 
“What we were really attracted to with Obé was just how democratic it is,” she explained. “The fact that you can get these incredible high-quality workouts, but you can watch it on your laptop, your phone, whatever screen. You don’t have to buy a really expensive piece of equipment or hardware to be able to participate. And for us at Athleta, that’s so core to our brand values. 

“Obé is really the anchor partner for the fitness experience,” Waldmann continued. “But I think what you’ll see from us as we continue to build out this platform is we will continue to partner with like-minded brands that are best-in-class in their fields across the full spectrum of female wellbeing.” 
Meanwhile, there’s no shortage of competition in the activewear market, which continues to expand at full speed.  
In fact, during the pandemic, everyone from Target Corp. to American Eagle Outfitters Inc.’s Aerie to Madewell to Danielle Bernstein’s WeWoreWhat, was trying to find their place in the world of athleisure, performance wear and wellness. On Tuesday, Lululemon revealed plans to partner with Wysdom, an artificial intelligence firm, for a digital wellbeing platform that is set to launch sometime in 2022. Even Rihanna may be getting into the game soon. 
Waldmann said AthletaWell is unique in that it brings together various elements of fitness, apparel and wellbeing in one place for free. 
“There are Q&A platforms out there; there are blogs on fertility and yoga. And there are plenty of fitness apps,” she said. “But there really isn’t a place for women to get access to vetted experts across the whole spectrum of female well-being. AthletaWell is about physical well-being. But Athleta is also interested in mental well-being, emotional well-being and environmental well-being.” 
Athleta Rewards loyalty members have access to AthletaWell by way of (Shoppers can sign up for the loyalty program for free by providing an email address.) Waldmann said the brand will also introduce an AthletaWell “native app experience” within the Athleta app later this year.

Harrods Pumps Up Sports Offer, Completes Men’s Floor Refurb

Harrods Pumps Up Sports Offer, Completes Men’s Floor Refurb

LONDON — Harrods has begun playing hardball in the men’s athletic market, opening a new, 4,000-square-foot space that is the final phase of a multiyear, multimillion pound refurbishment of its men’s wear offer that began in 2018.
Men’s Sports is located on the second floor, with the rest of men’s wear, and stocks gear for most activities, including cycling, yoga, golf and tennis. The space houses 20 brands, while there are nine permanent, branded shopfits including ON Running, Lululemon, the first men’s only destination for the brand in the U.K., and Rapha.
There is also a lifestyle skew, with brands including Canada’s Reigning Champ, EA7, Fred Perry and Lacoste.
Simon Longland, general merchandise manager for men’s wear, accessories and sport, said Harrods’ goal is to cater to every sporting need. “Curating the brand assortment in this room meant providing an elevation to our customer’s existing workout wardrobes, and allowing them to feel the best and most agile, no matter what way they like to work out, whether that is indoors or out.”

The nine shopfits surround a centralized, multibrand area that stocks merchandise from the Italian lifestyle brand K Way, Falke sports socks and compression wear from 2XU. There is also a pop-up space beside the permanent shopfits, and that will be occupied for the duration of 2021 by the Australian cycling brand MAAP.

Harrods new men’s sports area on the second floor of the Knightsbridge store. 
Image Courtesy of Harrods

The men’s wear redevelopment venture was designed by David Collins Studio Ltd., and the space mirrors the look and feel of the previously launched rooms, with gray and white checkered marble flooring, contemporary and clean marble pillars and cool tones running throughout for an ultra-modern air.
“Function is key and features a clean and masculine palette of metals and marbles with natural woods being less present throughout the space,” Longland said.
Since stores in England were allowed to reopen on April 12, Harrods has been forging ahead with various projects that had been put on hold during the three national lockdowns.
As reported, Harrods opened its second H Beauty unit in April, in Buckinghamshire, England. The stand-alone beauty concept opened in Milton Keynes, about 50 miles northwest of London, and is larger than the first store, which opened last September at the Lakeside Shopping Centre in Essex, just outside London.
The latest H Beauty store spans 29,000 square feet and offers products and services from more than 90 beauty brands.

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