Lululemon: Ayn Rand and Yoga

aynrand Lululemon: Ayn Rand and YogaLululemon,  the yoga workout clothier is in a heated debate with its devoted customers.  The retailer has printed the question Who is John Galt? on its  shopping bags and customers are angry.

This is the opening line of the famous 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged by the high priestess of free markets and self-determination Ayn Rand (above). John Galt is the novel’s self-interested protagonist obsessed with personal freedom.

Lululemon’s founder  says Atlas Shrugged had a profound effect on him as a teenager and the bags are visual reminders “to live a life we love and conquer the epidemic of mediocrity.”

Yoga devotees are up in arms; claiming the culture of self-interest, typified by Rand, is the opposite of yoga’s core value of community .

johngaltbag Lululemon: Ayn Rand and YogaAdored by fierce ideologues, Ayn Rand is polarising. This might have been too nuanced a conversation for a shopping bag.

The PR Verdict:  “B minus” for Lululemon.

Why has Lululemon CEO backed off talking to the press? Recent coverage has the firm declining comment. A blog and Facebook are not enough. It is  an interesting debate now that it’s started. The yoga club will come round.

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What is Your PR Verdict?

  1. B Minus? Me thinks there is a bit of grade inflation happening here. Whatever you might say about LuLuLemon, it doesn’t take the greatest of minds to realize that Ayn Rand’s philosophy is greatly at odds with a communal lovefest which is Yoga in the US.

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