Why is Lululemon so Expensive? Three Main Reasons (In 2021)

This is Why Lululemon Is SO EXPENSIVE in 2021!

Why is Lululemon so expensive is no longer a secret as the top reasons are finally revealed.

As one of the most expensive athleisure brands in the world right now, Lululemon seems overpriced to say at least.

The label is more popular than top fashion brands operating in the athleisure market, such as Versace Gym, Tory Sport, and Fenty PUMA.

Lululemon’s most expensive products are the limited edition pieces (hoodies, pants, and jackets) selling for up to £1500, on eBay.

In this article, I’ll share the secret strategy used by Lululemon’s founder to make Lululemon one of the most expensive brands in the world right now.

Without further ado…

Why is Lululemon so Expensive?

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

In this article, I’ll go beyond the Reddit rumor mill and detail these 3 strategies.

In the process, I’ll show you how to create a Lululemon-like brand image and sell at a high price tag.

1. Lululemon Media Scandals

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

The 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 (Lululemon brand founder) ‘tongue-in-cheek’ comments about women’s bodies…

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

… and his views on child labor.

Lululemon Founder Chip Wilson supporting child labour

However, while controversial, these comments were always carefully crafted and placed on media to create brand image and recognition.

The intentional media scandals helped Lululemon gain media attention very fast right from the start when the label had no money for marketing and advertising.

As expected, the ‘scandals’ created FREE brand discussions on global television channels, forums, Reddit, Quora, and thus, worldwide brand recognition.

The final result, as counterintuitive as it might be, concretized in a lot of criticism but also a lot of fans, high demand, and crazy sales.

2. Lululemon Celebrity Collaborations

Another ‘key ingredient’ that makes Lululemon so expensive is its aspirational status.

Despite its high price tag, Lululemon is one of the most sought athleisure labels with a ‘cult-like’ following.

Here’s how Lululemon created such a powerful cult-like image and following.

Instead of spending on advertising and publicity (it was done by media for free, anyway), Lululemon used the early profits to collaborate with global influencers and celebrities.

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

By launching collaborative collections with world-renown stars, Lululemon gained further brand power.

A growing number of celebrities were wearing Lululemon leggings, jackets, yoga mats, getting the general public to follow and buy the brand’s products.

From meditation experts interested in comfortable yoga tops to teenagers looking for squat-proof leggings, Lululemon has 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.

The way Lululemon got celebrities interested in the brand was by engaging them in Supreme-like limited edition collaborative products.

These lines were created with (and for) celebrities, in limited numbers, allowing the wearer to showcase not just taste, but also social status (through their purchasing power).

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

Roksanda Ilincic collaboration with Lululemon
Roksanda Ilincic x Lululemon collaboration.

3. Material Innovation

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

What makes Lululemon sp special is the obsessive attention to what the buyers want.

The company looked at research data in fitness apparel and found out that buyers expect two things from their gym gear and outfits:

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

To achieve activewear of excellent performance, comfort, style, Lululemon put together a team of experts.

The team is spearheading the brand’s research and development of sustainable and innovative materials, from the brand’s HQ’s 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, to create aesthetic styles.

Moreover, Lululemon’s science lab is packed with exercise machines, humidity-controlled chambers, and dunk pools, all required to test products.

Without a doubt, Lululemon is very expensive when compared to other athleisure brands, but that’s for 3 key reasons:

1. Clever media scandals.

2. Collabs with influencers and celebrities to create a cult-like following.

3. Constant material innovation.

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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 think makes Lululemon so special?

Would you call Lululemon a luxury brand?

Do you know what’s the most expensive product at Lululemon?

Would you recommend Lululemon products to others?

If not, what other athleisure labels do you wear and recommend?

Share your thoughts on Lululemon below, so others can benefit from your experience as well.

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  1. I have a lot of athleisure gear, Lululemon is my favorite. I like how it feels and people recognize the brand when I am in the gym so that’s a double win for me.


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