Lululemon founder and former CEO Chip Wilson criticized the company’s recent moves to expand its product line to a wider market.
In a new interview with Forbes, Wilson, who launched the yogawear-maker in 1998 in Vancouver, British Columbia, criticized what he referred to as the company’s “whole diversity and inclusion thing.”
Wilson also called out company ads for featuring people who he said appear “unhealthy,” “sickly” and “not inspirational.”
“They’re trying to become like the Gap, everything to everybody,” Wilson said. “And I think the definition of a brand is that you’re not everything to everybody… You’ve got to be clear that you don’t want certain customers coming in.”
Lululemon has issued a statement distancing itself from Wilson, who has not been involved in the company’s daily operation for years.
“Chip Wilson does not speak for Lululemon, and his comments do not reflect our company views or beliefs,” the fitness brand said. “Chip has not been involved with the company since his resignation from the board in 2015 and we are a very different company today.”
Wilson stepped down as Lululemon chairman in 2013 amid controversial remarks regarding birth control and his support of libertarian philosopher Ayn Rand. He also said what motivated a scandal around the company’s see-through pants that year was that “some women’s bodies just actually don’t work for it.”
Wilson’s remarks do not appear to have affected Lululemon’s stock price, which, at nearly $500 a share, currently sits at an all-time high. Wilson remains the company’s largest single shareholder, with holdings worth more than $4 billion, according to Securities and Exchange Commission data.