CHAPTER 5 Dress the Part

Chip Wilson was practically late for his own wedding because he was too busy selling yoga pants.

The founder of Lululemon marks his 2002 wedding day as a turning point in his company’s life. What was then a one-location retailer in Vancouver, British Columbia, mushroomed into a $7 billion juggernaut. That made Wilson famous (and, at times, notorious). It made him a billionaire several times over, and helped launch a fashion category that did not exist before.

The yoga pant, as popularized by Wilson’s company, is the iconic apparel item of the fitness economy. In its utility and ubiquity, the sleek, expensive, casual piece of clothing epitomizes how fitness has shifted for many people from something we do to who we ...

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