If you have ever struggled with your weight, whether it be your entire life, after having a baby, or if you packed on those pandemic pounds, you may have found yourself feeling less confident or simply needing some new fitting clothes. If you’re like me (the founder of Tribe 35) and grew up in the 90s, the toxic diet culture filled with fad diets may be haunting you to this day. Thankfully, we have moved on from the obsessed media images of Brittany and Christina Aguilera with low rise jeans to now favoring women with curves (but can we stop with those awful BBLs?) But let's be honest, the world still hasn't accepted body diversity entirely…even if there are tons of new inclusive brands (like Tribe 35) and lots of curvier and larger women being in the spotlight, we are always reminded why bigger girls aren't totally accepted in society. Quite honestly, as a successful plus size woman, I am tired of the media putting down women who carry extra weight as if that really stopped us from achieving anything. Newsflash - it doesnt.

My latest frustration comes from the Lululemon founder and former CEO Chip Wilson who recently lamented to Forbes Magazine that he didn't launch the luxury athleisure brand in Vancouver City, Canada, in 1998 to cater to every body type. 

Apparently, Chip Wilson, who stepped down bid adieu as the fashion brand’s board of directors chairman in 2015, isn't too pleased with the whole diversity and inclusion trajectory that Lululemon is currently on. In his constant temper tantrums, he keeps on reiterating that the yoga-inspired fashion brand is giving Gap vibes and doesn't have the exclusivity it once had. Translation: Fat chicks are wearing Lululemon now, so it's losing its appeal. 

In case there's any ambiguity, in Chip Wilson's own words, here's what he said to Forbes Magazine: "Lululemon is trying to be everything to everybody....But you've got to be clear that you don't want certain customers coming in."

Ouch! Hint taken!  

This is not the first time he has come under fire for comments that err on the side of body shaming and fat phobia. In 2013, when Lululemon had to shelf its popular black Lulon pants due to complaints of them being see-through, the Vancouver-based billionaire's reasoning was, "Frankly, some women's bodies just don't actually work." 

Geez, thanks for blaming plus-size bodies for your ill-constructed peek-a-boo leggings! " He also said that plus size leggings need 30% more fabric, and that simply put it's just not profitable, as if we are not worth the extra costs…His stance on plus size leggings? "It's a money loser, for sure," 

With our Tribe 35 leggings, see-through leggings will not be something that you have to worry about because we use high quality fabrics made in the US and fitted on small, midsize, and plus size models during production to ensure perfect fitting pants at each size…Most companies do not manufacture that way, because they use  size small model and then grade up - leaving mid and plus size bodies wearing leggings that were made for a size small (no wonder we look so bad in certain leggings).

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as a whole in areas such as academia, tech, and corporate America have their detractors–fashion, specifically athleisure, is no exception.

Chip Wilson seems to have a chip on his shoulder, like many privileged white men out there (more on that later) and he is the reason I started Tribe 35..I wanted to create leggings that are made for women who may have a little extra right now, and they want leggings made for their bodies that shape them and make them feel good.

Before your retort is, "Doesn't Tribe 35 only cater to big girls?" Let the record show that our sizes range from size extra small to 5x. As a fashion brand, it would be naive to think that every other fashion brand caters to the same demographic. 

Fashion giants like Louis Vuitton and Hermes are very specific about their customer base and we get it. I am not knocking Chip for his desire to keep his brand to how he sees fit (I think when he founded it he was going for the stay at home housewife going to workout at 10 am) but we don't need another man telling us what’s wrong with our bodies. 

With that said, Tribe 35 is committed to creating high quality leggings and athleisure to cater to those with curves or a little extra something for those who may need and want a little support (our fabric is designed to snatch and contour). We are a start up brand located in Los Angeles cutting and sewing each legging one a time.We focus on quality and materials that are supportive and make you look and feel better. Whether you are going to the gym or going to run errands or get the kids, we have designed leggings that cinch your waist, lift your butt all made of a thick buttery fabric that minimizes any cellulite as well.

Thank you to our customers who are coming back 3 and 4 times to buy these leggings - I wear my Tribe 35 leggings EVERY DAY and there is nothing else like it. 

About Tribe 35

The founders of Tribe 35, created by two plus-size women, saw a gap in the market for quality and well-constructed athleisure for all body types. While we’re all about body positivity and encourage our customers to embrace the body that they are in, we know that some are on a fitness or weight loss journey. We constantly have customers who've purchased our popular Tribal Legging in size 2x or 3x and return to purchase them in smaller sizes, such as large and medium, once they've reached a weight loss milestone. We support women no matter where they are at with their body journey whether that's self love or self improvement.

We created this brand so you will feel included at any size when you’re trying to find fitting and flattering athleisure that won’t fall apart after two washes.

You’re welcome. ;) 

Alexandra Cristin

Founder, Tribe35

January 15, 2024 — Alexandra White