Too fat for Kuiu!
Check out this Bloomberg article on Kuiu.
Equating Kuiu to Lululemon yoga wear is funny to me and somewhat accurate now that I think about it but not a good thing unless you are a skinny jean, shrunken suit, hipster dude. I can see the new ad campaign now, KuiuLemon…hunting clothes for hipsters. Advantage Sitka Gear and First Lite.
Anyway, the article is a puff piece where we get yet another stylized version of what happened with the Sitka Gear/Gore-Tex deal and Hairston’s departure. And yes, of course, he brings up the pro football thing again. I would still like to see his name on an official NFL team roster (it certainly isn’t on the ’95 or ’96 49ers) or listed as a member of the players association. Like I’ve said before, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being on somebody’s practice squad but just be honest about it.
Seriously, it isn’t about skinny, husky or fat. It is about aiming your products at the middle of your core user group so you can fit people that fall on both sides of that spectrum. That’s sales 101. If the clothes are too tight, and in most of the promo pictures I see of Jason they are, the gear won’t work or protect as well as advertised, expected, or needed. Restriction and compression. That’s mountaineering 101.
The Kuiu/Lululemon analogy is why you always hold out for final review rights on any interview. That’s marketing 101.
UPDATE – Oh, that touched a nerve. I got a lot of comments from you and the large majority of you agree with me on both points. As to your question why Kuiu, and to be fair other companies, have gone with this European fit over the last couple of years? It’s not about functionality and utility, it’s about looks. With the explosion of hunting shows, magazines, and websites how it looks is the priority. That makes it a fad/fashion thing in my opinion and I have been railing against that influence in the outdoor clothing industry for as long as I have been writing. Watch TV or look at any male (I chose that word on purpose) Nordstrom sales associate and you will see them wearing suits that are one or two sizes too small and too short. It is a fashion thing and I don’t like it.
UPDATE 2 – OK, last comment on this subject. If you want to make slim fit hunting/yoga gear, it’s your company, but how about being up front about it. Please consider these points. You are a customer direct outfit so we can’t go try this stuff on anywhere before we buy (we pay shipping to and fro), you say transparency is important to you so be more transparent about fit, and the new Kuiu line is cut considerably smaller than previous lines (remember that I have been a customer since day one and I have versions from those lines so I can compare them). Explain your fit philosophy (which is to make clothing that is cut for you, the way you like them to fit-you are your own fit model) and how your products are cut. Here is how two top of the line companies do it.
Arcteryx tells you how it fits and explains that fit to you with pictures on the product page then provides one click access to their fit class descriptions and sizing charts
Patagonia tells you what the fit is on the product page right under the product name then explains the fit using both words and pictures with one simple click
If you won’t make fuller cut clothing then at least give us full disclosure and detailed fit descriptions. And BTW, stretch is not a proper fix for a cut that is too trim for highly active mountain wear.