Lululemon, Cruising On Tech Edge, Introduces Ballet Inspiration

Lululemon, which has been chalking up big sales gains and winning renewed support from the financial community, is introducing a limited-edition collection of dance-inspired activewear with Francesca Hayward, principal dancer at the Royal Ballet of London.

It’s also filling out its sports bra offerings with the Like Nothing bra, which it hopes will fare as well as last year’s breakthrough Enlite bra.

And with Lululemon’s sales strengthening, Wedbush Securities recently upgraded the Vancouver-based company to an “Outperform.”

The Lululemon x Francesca Hayward of The Royal Ballet Collection, rolling out in stores and on its website, aims to go beyond ballet. It weaves in hints of gold, which it says is a nod to the Royal Opera House, with an overlay of technical mesh that gives the collection “a modern twist on traditional corsetry.”



Items in the 17-piece collection are made of cashmere jersey, merino wool and cupro (a silk-like fabric created from cellulose), and are shaped like Hayward’s warm-up wardrobe.

The bra launch, which the company says is based on four years of research, promises women comfort that steps out of the studio and performs day to night. It says it is aiming for a “better than naked” feeling and “distraction-free” design. Made of its Light Ultralu fabric, the new creation comes in 20 sizes.

Dominance in sports bras is a key part of the company’s strategy, and has helped propel it to No. 2 in women’s athletic apparel, just behind Nike, according to the NPD Group.

Separately, Wedbush Securities elevated its recommendation of Lululemon to an “Outperform.”

“We continue to see the company's cutting-edge data analytics and technology platforms on the forefront of wins in the years to come,” writes Jen Redding, a Wedbush  analyst. “We see fundamentals as compelling, including a strong e-commerce segment with meaningful growth ahead, and promising international expansion opportunities.”

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