Chip Wilson, founder and chairman of Lululemon Athletica Inc. plans to exit his post as chief innovation and branding officer on Jan. 29.
Wilson founded the company in 1998 and served as its chief executive officer until 2005. He successfully tapped into the athletic lifestyle with a casual aesthetic and built a powerhouse firm that now has a market capitalization of $7.7 billion.
Christine Day, a former Starbucks executive, has headed the firm as ceo since 2008.
“Chip has created a legacy that has inspired the world and the mantle of leadership and care for the culture, values and mission of Lululemon is now in our hands,” Day said.
Wilson, 55, will continue as chairman.
“I remain deeply committed to the company’s continued success and given the strength we’ve built into the organization over the past three years, I feel comfortable leaving the company with Christine Day at the helm...” he said.
The Vancouver, British Columbia-based Lululemon went public in July 2007. Its stock has appreciated more than 283 percent since and closed at $53.68 Friday.
Wilson has been trimming his stake in the firm and sold off 1.3 million shares over the past year. He is still a significant shareholder, controlling 10.3 million shares, or 9.4 percent of those outstanding.
Lululemon has been ramping up inventories over the past year after not stocking enough for the 2010 holiday season. Year-over-year sales rose a slightly less than expected 31 percent in the third quarter and inventories at the end of the period were up 77 percent, spooking some investors.
But the firm remains one of the few true fashion darlings on Wall Street.
Stacy Pak, an analyst at Barclays Capital, said the firm “is one of the few attractive domestic growth stories, that it has a strong management team, it is one of the few companies in our sector with a truly unique store experience and strategy, it has great product, and there is upside from direct and on the operational side. With just 165 stores in operation at the end of [the third quarter, Lululemon] ought to be able to deliver strong double-digit square footage growth in the U.S. market for the next 10 years.”
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty