3 Key Reasons Why Lululemon Is So Expensive! (2021 Update)

Why is Lululemon so expensive? This article has the most comprehensive answer for you.

First, you’re right, Lululemon is one of the most expensive athleisure brands in the world, right now.

In fact, the label is more expensive than luxury labels operating in the athleisure market, such as Fenty PUMA, Tory Sport, and Versace Gym.

To top it up, Lululemon’s most expensive pieces such as limited edition hoodies, pants, and jackets are often reaching prices of up to £1500, on sites like eBay.

So, Why is Lululemon so Expensive?

Lululemon has become one of the most expensive athleisure brands in the world by using, to perfection, three simple ingredients:


1. Media scandals
2. ‘Cult-like’ following/brand image
3. Constant innovation

In this article, I’ll go beyond the Reddit rumor mill and detail these 3 strategies, and show you how they create Lululemon’s popular brand image and high price tag.

1. Clever Media Scandals

There’s a saying that “any scandal is good, as long as it creates publicity”.

This saying worked wonders for Lululemon’s brand image, and here is why.

In its early days, the brand received a lot of media attention, arguably not for the right reason.

It all started with Chip Wilson’s (brand founder) ‘tongue-in-cheek’ comments about women’s bodies…

Lululemon Founder Chip Wilson Blames Women's Bodies for Yoga Pant Problems

… and ‘controversial’ views on child labor.

Lululemon Founder Chip Wilson supporting child labour

But, later on, marketing analysts noticed that these comments were always carefully crafted and placed.

It was these intentional media scandals that helped Lululemon gain media attention fast, and when it needed the most; at the beginning, when the label had no money for marketing and advertising.

But, there are always two (at least) opinions of the same problem, more obvious than ever in the current American political turmoil.

Similarly, in the case of Lululemon, the media coverage translated in a lot of criticism but also a lot of fans.

Above all, it resulted in a lot of FREE brand coverage, on national and international television, and thus, global brand recognition.

The final result, counterintuitive to many, concretized in high product demand and crazy sales.

2. Aspirational Brand Image

Another ‘smart ingredient’ that made Lululemon become such a sought athleisure label with a high price tag was the brand’s strategy to create a ‘cult-like’ status.

Rather than spending money on publicity – it was already done by the global media for free – Lululemon used the profits to launch collaborative collections with global influencers and celebrities.

Celebrities wearing Lululemon - Kim Kardashian wearing Lululemon X11
Kim Kardashian wearing Lululemon X11.

In fact, it was this approach is that helped Lululemon gain serious brand image and power.

With a growing number of celebrities wearing and praising the brand, different segments started to show interest in the brands’ products.

From meditation experts interested in comfortable yoga tops to teenagers looking for squat proof leggings, the brand had them all, celebrity-endorsed.

Celebrities wearing Lululemon - Gisele Bundchen wearing Lululemon Tadasana
Gisele Bundchen wearing Lululemon Tadasana.

Celebrities wearing Lululemon - Rosie Huntington-Whiteley wearing Lululemon zip up jacket and cropped workout pants
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley wearing Lululemon zip-up jacket and cropped workout pants.

Lululemon got celebrities interested by launching collaborative limited editions.

These lines were created with (and for) celebrities, in limited editions, allowing the wearer to showcase power to buy and taste.

The approach paid off, as Lululemon became one of the most desired and most expensive athleisure labels in the world right now.

Roksanda Ilincic collaboration with Lululemon
Roksanda Ilincic x Lululemon collaboration.

3. Constant Innovation

But, neither clever media scandals nor clouds of celebrity partnerships and endorsements help if your products are crap, pardon my french.

So Lululemon looked at deal research data in fitness apparel, to find out that buyers expect two things from their outfits:

  1. Performance – outfits that hold up during strenuous exercises
  2. Comfort & Style – apparel that feels and looks great

To achieve activewear of excellent performance, comfort, style, Lululemon has put together a team of experts to research and develop the brand’s future materials, in Vancouver, Canada.

Lululemon whitespace lab
Lululemon testing expert at the label’s ‘Whitespace’ lab

Named the ‘Whitespace Lab’, this is where textile, material, and design experts experiment with nylon, Lycra, spandex, elastane, cuts, colors, and so on.

In fact, Lululemon’s science lab is packed with exercise machines, humidity-controlled chambers, and even dunk pools, all needed to test Lululemon’s products.

Indeed, Lululemon is very expensive, compared to other athleisure brands, but for a few good reasons.

1. Clever media scandals
2. Cult-like brand image via collabs with influencers and celebrities
3. Constant material innovation

Now it’s your turn…

With the hope I’ve answered ‘why is Lululemon so expensive’, I’d love to hear from you.

What is it that you love the most about Lululemon?

What is your favorite Lululemon product?

Would you recommend Lululemon products to others, or what other athleisure labels do you wear?

Share your thoughts on Lululemon below, so other buyers can benefit from your experience and knowledge.

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