Interview with the lululemon product development team: Bring the experience of “wearing as if not wearing it” to the running field

Wearing it is like not wearing it.

Everyone who loves lululemon yoga pants has said it enthusiastically to a friend at least once.

Behind this feeling of "nothingness" is the organic fusion of fabrics, tailoring and detailed design.

Now, lululemon has launched a new SenseKnit series, which wants to create another free experience that is similar to "nothing" in the field of running.

▲ The SenseKnit collection includes men's and women's running tights/shorts and running sleeves, women's running vests and men's long-sleeve T-shirts

Although the pursuit of a similar experience, but the "solution formula" is completely different.

We have applied motion research data accumulated over the past 20 years and adapted our proprietary fabric technology for this collection to create a seamless product solution that allows garments to move with the body rather than with physical confrontation.

Chantelle Murnaghan, vice president of research and development and "haptic science" at lululemon, explained.

This time, we spoke to Chantelle Murnaghan and lululemon senior design director Eliot Cohen in a written interview to find out how the new collection delivers the performance a bodysuit is supposed to do without feeling like nothing.

It took four years to build, and it belongs to the "like nothing" experience of running

The experience demand of "nothing" does not arise out of thin air.

Cohen told us that during the design process, the team has been iterating on three questions:

What activities will our users participate in? Is there an unmet need? And, how do they want to feel?

Murnaghan went on to share that they learned from athletes that they wanted a feeling of wearing "as if nothing":

They get the best running experience when the gear feels like nothing, and when it comes to function and structure, they believe that “less is more.”

But in order to achieve "less is more", there is a lot of detail that needs to be done.

To use a counter-example, if you wear a cotton T-shirt that you think is comfortable to go for a run in the summer, it will not take long for you to discover all the discomforts of the T-shirt.

The cotton quickly absorbs your sweat, but doesn't drain it, so you'll feel the wet tee all the way through.
What used to be simple and solid sutures in your eyes can become an annoying hindrance after running for a long time, and maybe even rubbing and hurting.

Even professional running apparel has many limitations.

Lululemon's research found that while wearing traditional running tights, users can improve endurance, but at the same time consume more physical strength and feel more thermal discomfort.

This also allows lululemon to see the opportunity to make new products – to have performance, but also to be free.

For more than four years, they invited athletes and ambassadors to the internal test site to re-study the body in motion, and finally decided to overcome the three aspects of pressure distribution, motion analysis and sensory feedback.

Each product in the collection features our proprietary SenseKnit fabric technology, which provides corresponding protection and support for the body's most important muscle groups, reducing restraint in moving joints and improving breathability in high sweat areas.

Cohen said.

The SenseKnit fabric technology he mentioned is a new weapon for the team. Its characteristics are also very intuitive

On the same fabric, SenseKnit technology allows the design team to position and weave fabrics with different functions.

In other words, it is to let the parts that need support get "positioning support", so that the sweaty places can get "multiple ventilation", and the parts that need to be stretched without feeling need to be "free and flexible".

Because of this, SenseKnit technology can also reduce the use of stitches and reduce discomfort during long runs.

Moreover, according to Cohen, the "multi-breathable" fabric created by a special weaving process can also control the sweaty areas of the body with the passage of running time.

Finally, Cohen also gave us some sweet little details about the series:

The SenseKnit Running Leggings also feature a new waistband construction and a continuous drawstring for an adjustable fit; a zip-free design and a folded envelope pocket for secure gear storage.

The fabric is treated with No-Stink Zinc to reduce odor, while new reflective details maintain visibility in low light conditions.

In addition, the shorts have a grippy design at the cuffs, which is not easy to shift, and removes excess stitches while controlling the position.

Lululemon's "cross-border story" is always a little "unusual"

As we all know, lululemon started by perfecting the yoga pants in the market segment, but in recent years, the brand has already expanded its category, "cross-border" to fields such as running, training and swimming.

In addition to the design core of "tactile science" no matter what field it enters, lululemon can always find its own "cross-border narrative" in new fields.

The biggest feature of the running shoes Blissfeel, which was launched at the beginning of this year, is that it is only designed for women, and it emphasizes "designing for women from scratch".

This will naturally impress the existing loyal users of the brand, which are mainly female.

This time, SenseKnit ambassadors invited long jumper Tara Davis and Paralympic sprinter Hunter Woodhall.

In addition to their achievements in their respective sports fields, the two are a beloved young couple in the American track and field world.

On YouTube, their channel has more than 420,000 subscribers, and the two have more than 300,000 followers on Instagram.

Outside of their sweet routine, the pair also openly and honestly discuss difficulties in their personal lives, whether it's about mental health or physicality.

Here's how lululemon introduced the two new ambassadors:

Tara Davis and Hunter Woodhall are not only world-class athletes, but partners on and off the field. As the newest lululemon ambassadors, they are committed to being role models in advocating for mental health and equal rights. They believe that running is not just about competition, it can be a powerful force that inspires people and uplifts communities.

As a "newcomer" in the mature market of running equipment, lululemon's product positioning and ambassador selection can see the brand's consideration for creating differences.

The same can be seen in menswear.

In October last year, lululemon signed Jordan Clarkson, known as the "best-dressed NBA player".

Clarkson also said that he will continue to "promote his love of dressing, researching and testing new fabrics and designs with lululemon."

Although lululemon has always emphasized fabric technology and performance, it always returns to personal "comfort" in the end;

Even though the series continues to expand into more sports categories, the story always returns to the emotional meaning of sports beyond "competition".

Its new offering may not be the hardest.

But they're always reminiscent of the pure joy that yoga pants brought in the first place.

This may be the reason why lululemon's new products always impress fans.

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