Lululemon’s Ayn Rand Bags

For the sake of full disclosure, I will say that I have never actually read any of Ayn Rand’s books, and I am withholding my judgement on her philosophy until such time that I have; from the summaries that I’ve read (inevitably biased though they were) I have come away with the impression that it is something of an all-or-nothing deal, so I shall refrain from saying that I “agree with some aspects but dislike others.”

With all of that out of the way, this is pretty unintentionally hilarious. It seems that Lululemon (notable purveyor of overpriced stretch-pants), has decided to sell its wears in custom bags with the tagline “Who is John Galt?”

Now, first of all, there’s something strangely wonderful about celebrating capitalism through a marketing move that will probably make people less likely to purchase your wears (I suspect that opponents of objectivism are more likely to boycott the company than fans are to shell-out an extra hundred dollars in blind support- especially considering that said supporters are supposed to be doggedly pursuing their own financial self-interest). But by far the best part is the post on the company blog which attempts to justify the move by saying that the founder of the company, Chip Wilson, had been inspired by reading Atlas Shrugged to “elevate the world from mediocrity to greatness.”

Well, I certainly see where he was coming from! Do you remember how mediocre the world was back before overpriced stretch-pants were on the market? Now it is truly great! The comment is nothing short of pure narcissism to the point of being completely out of touch with reality. But such tends to be the way with most Objectivists I’ve met (I said that I would withhold judgement on Ayn Rand; I didn’t say anything about her followers).

Incidentally, didn’t John Galt invent a perpetual motion machine in the novel? That seems a tad more impressive than Yoga wear.


About thevenerablecorvex

I have the heart of a poet, the brain of a theoretical physicist, and the wingspan of an albatross. I am also notable for my humility.
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3 Responses to Lululemon’s Ayn Rand Bags

  1. Lindsay says:

    This made me laugh so hard when I heard it on NPR. Not just because of the incongruity you mention (I, similarly, had no idea civilization would collapse without stylish athletic wear), but also because of the hilarious mismatch between the founder’s philosophy and the kind of philosophy most Lululemon shoppers are likely to endorse. I know it’s a stereotype, but it seems to me like people who do yoga are more likely to be social democrats than libertarians …

    • Apparently, the guy who founded whole foods is also a libertarian (though I don’t know whether or not he’s an objectivist). I suppose you don’t actually need to agree with people’s “philosophy” in order to take advantage of them as a market segment.

      • Lindsay says:

        No, you don’t need to agree with them to sell them clothes, or food, but I’d imagine that if you were trying to sell them stuff emblazoned with symbols of a philosophy they didn’t share, that they might not be willing to buy them. And some people *really* loathe Ayn Rand, so knowing that a particular company’s founder is an Objectivist might make them stop shopping there.

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