Friday, October 26, 2012

Lululemon Knockoff? Not Exactly.

Spotted in a Winners (the Canadian TJ Maxx) store in Canada - "Kyodan" brand workout wear. Well, not exactly. It has a lululemon symbol on it. Ooops! So, lululemon, has your secret been blown? Are you making cheaper brand workout wear on the side? I need to head to TJ Maxx and check out this Kyodan stuff. The style in the photo looks like the old Relaxed Fit Short, one of my favorites. (Thanks to Ms. J. for the photo.)

57 comments:

bianca said...

that is hilarious !

bianca said...

are they a private label for winners???

LuluAddict said...

It could be. People have said they've seen the brand at Marshalls and TJ Maxx, which I believe is owned by the same company.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I just checked their Facebook page. It says that they are sold at TJ Maxx and Marshalls and Winners (all belong to the same company). I'm going to have to check out my local Winners and Marshalls.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I've seen that brand at TJ Maxx. I had a tank from there but it was cheap fabric and the seams unravelled pretty quickly

Melanie S said...

I've tried on tons of Kyodan brand stuff. It's nowhere near as nice. Hopefully Lulu doesn't plan to reduce their item quality til they're at this level...

Alexandria Runner said...

I have a pair of Kyodan brand yoga pants. I bought them at TJ Maxx and they are some of my favorites.

Anonymous said...

It's funny because I picked up a pair of their paints, and was thinking how much they are like Wunder Unders .. I think they may be made in the same factories perhaps ? the qualities are the same, just such a large price difference ! And I've seen them both at Winners in Canada and TJ Maxx for sure in the states (as i often state side shop)

Anonymous said...

Busted! I see this Kyodan stuff all the time at Winners and I used to have some of it (gave it away). The logo you see there on the hangtag (the "k's") are normally what is imprinted on the garment. One shirt/tank I had with a built in shelf bra really did remind me of LLL. The shirt was excellent quality but had become too big for me. Darn, I was just in Winners tonight. They had a bunch of new gear by Kyodon, pants and crops in really bright colours, reminiscent of LL, but I didn't bother to examine (not interested, wasn't going to buy).

This is not really shocking to me. You have the same factory making regular women's retail garments for different stores. I've noticed the same pattern on a shirt or dress in one store, then in another totally different store, which are not affiliated. Just the tag on the inside of the shirt is different.

Anastasia Beaverhausen said...

I've seen the Kyodan brand at TJMaxx. Now I'm going to look much more closely! With all the crap (changes) Lulu is pulling lately...this really took me by surprise! I figured if they were making any of the knock-offs themselves it was the Costco ones. I actually like my Costco "Defines" better than the Lulu ones.

bianca said...

it is owned by the same company. And if you look on the web, kyodan doesnt seem to have any website but the one for tj maxx and winners ! there are alot of brands that only design for winners/ tj maxx so it wouldn't be a stretch !

Anonymous said...

Wow! I always see this brand at TJ Maxx, and I wore one of their jackets for a run today! Not a bad jacket, I've had it for almost a year and there's no sign of the standard issue like pilling.

After seeing this post, I tried to find an official company page--and there isn't one. Google then suggested I search for Lululemon....

bianca said...

It could also be that they are a manufacturer? Many companies create product for other private labels using cheaper materials that cater to that brand... Like parasuco jeans

Anonymous said...

I've seen people wearing this brand at my gym. They make cute stuff!

Anonymous said...

$25 for Lulu? Yes please

Anonymous said...

I just saw three kyodan run jackets with circle mesh. AND a ton of colored wunder unders in heathered pow pink.

Anonymous said...

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=kyodan&clk_rvr_id=403352022154&adpos=1t1&MT_ID=70&crlp=10906690120_2416792&tt_encode=raw&geo_id=9092&keyword=kyodan&adgroup_id=3034404760
A lot of styles look similar to lulu....

Joan said...

Probably just made at the same factory with an error in the symbols that was not quality controlled.

Unknown said...

Damnit lulu. There goes my'investments' I've been making in the product for years! Clearly they have the same people doing QC as they do proofing their hang tags and manifesto goods...ugh

Eric said...

Im heading to Winners on sunday with my sister, Ill see what I can find :)

Olivia said...

Haha that's strange!
I do have a pair of crops and a pair of their "wunder unders". They are both comfy, and while I prefer to wear my lulus these are a good alternative, especially considering the price! I think the crops were $20 and the pants were $25. I've only had them a few months but so far so good, no complaints!

Anonymous said...

I have a pair of groove like pants and I swear the quality is the same if not better. I purchased a dress at target for myself and found a dress for my toddler daughter at Nordies... Same print. Factories manufacture for multiple companies.

Anonymous said...

I am in the wholesale clothing business and there is many reasons why these shorts showed up with two names, and most of them have been talked about already, but one that has not been talked about is how brands like Kyodan don't always make all of their own products, they purchase items from other companies that have been overproduce, discontinued, or have flaws. Kyodan purchase these items in bulk, super cheap, then put their own tags and labels on the item and sell them as their own brand to discount stores such as TJ Maxx. That is why sometimes you will find a wonderful item that you love and others times an item by the same company will fall apart.

LuluAddict said...

Interesting

Unknown said...

This is very interesting. Last week I was in a Marshall's and was looking at a green jacket that looked *just like* a define jacket, I mean so much so that for a moment I was excited to find a lululemon at Marshall's. It was a Kyodan brand too.

Anonymous said...

I have a pair of kyodan yoga pants that I got at TJ Maxx a few years ago. They really are fantastic and have held up better than some of my lulu pants.... just saying...

Anonymous said...

Disappointed. Will have to reconsider forking out money to purchase lulu items in the future. I pay premium price for a reason. Not only because I can, but I believed in the company's ethic. You can have a subsidary branding "lulu of lemon" or whatever name the company would want it to be for knock off price. But, not with the same iconic lulu logo.

Anonymous said...

Thank you anon 8.50! Useful info

Unknown said...

@LuluAddict I think I emailed you some pictures a few months ago - I was at Winners and found some Kyodan items that looked freakishly like Lulu - there were Groove Pants in what looked like one of the Fall Quilt waistbands, "Speed Shorts" in a yellow colour and an Energy Skirt!!

Anonymous said...

i have been buying kyodan for years and they do not seem to be anything like lulu; fabrics and looks are different...this seem like some hoax someone is playing...

Anonymous said...

I have seen this brand a lot at the winners in edmonton Alberta, for about the last year or so, I think. I have a pair of "studio" crops that are identical except the material is not stripey textured like real studios. I also have a pair of "ebb n flow" crops which are beautiful! Not sheer, and they were 20 bucks. I've seen tops that are luxtreme-y but not quite as nice. But all in all its not bad for the price.

Now I guess I know why it's so similar to lulu, lol!!

Anonymous said...

I wonder how the "refuse to wear fulu" ladies feel...? I personally don't own fulu because I haven't run in to any yet but I would never question why people choose to wear name brands over non name brands. I believe people should buy and wear what ever makes them feel good! It's funny that this post was made so soon after all the judgmental attacks on fulu.

Anonymous said...

Ummmmm...Okaaaay....so why is Lululemon sewing Calvin Klien??? LOL.... For something to do??? LOL... It's obvious they are reaching new lows and because of the lack of QCONTROL.....they are caught, like a deer in the headlights! Lulu obviously takes its customers for a bunch of fools, who will pay $118 for a pair of pants. We all know now...what we need to do.
-Disposable Income girl

Anonymous said...

It's quite interesting. As others have already observed, this is likely a case of the clothes being manufactured in the same factory and the wrong hangtag being attached to it, and a lack of quality control. I don't think LL is the maker of Kyodan or any other brand. They've sued Calvin Klein for copying them. If Kyodan is made for TJ Maxx/Marshalls/Winners, the retailer knows that LL is coveted, so they make a generic. The clothes are made in the same factories, the sewers know how to sew it. They are told the level of acceptable quality when working on a certain brand. I imagine the same workers are dedicated to the same brand. This is not like another regular retail x where you can just slap on a different tag or logo and it's no big deal if you see the same shirt or dress pattern in retailer x and retailer y. This would be the same problem if Adidas logo stuff showed up with a Nike hang tag (the brand, or store staff, would most likely catch it before it hits the retail floor?) However, those are 2 higher end athletic brands, and people would probably say "six of one and half a dozen of the other", regarding price, quality etc. This gaffe is different because LLL charges extremely high prices. LLL has, in the past, consistently had the quality to back up those prices. These days it is hit and miss, diminishing quality and absence of quality control. Now, customers are more willing to seek and embrace non-LLL gear; case in point, the Fulu items at Costco. LLL reads this blog, this will be all over the internet. This adds to LL's headaches/mistakes—not that they care.

@ 8:50 PM, some of the Kyodan stuff (solid or heathered color) may be overstock of flawed items (it's possible) but I would not say all (if at all). I shop Winners regularly and always review the women's athletic gear. It's true you can score some great Nike, Adidas etc., for a fraction of the price, the trouble is trying to get it in your size. I'm an XS (can settle for an S) and I'm often not able to get these discounted items in my size. However, if you're trying to be savvy, regular shopping is required. You never know when stock will arrive in stores (some store staff are kind enough to let you know what days they receive new stock). As for the Kyodan brand, changing stock is often there. If I happen to be there when it's newly available, I can get items in my size, but I'm very selective about what I buy (keep it classic). In general it is definitely not exact LL gear, so I have trouble believing it's simply LL cast offs. Something like the "Groove" or "Astro" pant or crop will have a waistband that is in the spirit of LLL but not the precise colours. Some of the tanks will remind you of LL, but again, it's not LL. Some of the Kyodan stuff I have had has in fact been great quality and has held up over time with use and washing, until I decided to rotate out.

Anonymous said...

I bought a super comfy pair of groove like pants there but they shrank after the first wash.
Plus the fabric was thinner, so thin + shrink = CT. :-(

Anonymous said...

@ 6:25, of course a hoax/trick is always possible (photoshop), but I assure you (as a Canadian who shops at Winners), that is: a Winners security tag, a Winners UPC price tag that says $24.99. Definitely a LLL logo on the heathered grey short, and that is definitely a Kyodan hang tag. Most certainly if Ms J (who provided the photo and I thank her and her keen eye) had seen a LLL hangtag, that would be quite interesting as well. Then it would just be 'how did LLL end up in Winners?!'

No one is trying to sabotage LLL...they've made enough mistakes on their own.

Anonymous said...

I agree 11:01am. LOL
-Disp. income girl

LuluAddict said...

It was posted from right in the store so I think it's a legit photo.

I wonder if the Kyodan manufacturing plant could also produce the fake lulu that ends up on ebay. Those have lulu symbols and "ripout" tags. A lot of ebay fake lulu is of the "heathered" variety I've noticed.

Anonymous said...

Astute observation, LLA.

Has LLL ever spoken to the fakes on eBay? i.e., any sort of statement to consumers and protecting themselves? I'm guessing no?

LuluAddict said...

Yes, they had a post on their blog about spotting fake Scubas, I believe.

Anonymous said...

I recently discovered Kyodan at my local Winners and found it greatly resembles lulu stuff but much cheaper. A lot of the same great colors and similar fabric. It has curbed my lulu habit quite a bit ;)

Anonymous said...

i just looked up Kyodan on ebay and everything from tanks, skirts and pants have an unmistakeable lulu-look. There are look-a-likes for even the most recent lulu items. And the trademark is owned by a company in Canada...perhaps they just use the same manufacturing facility but the resemblance is spot on!

Anonymous said...

I have often wondered about kyodan....as their styles are remarkably similar to lulu! The fabrics colours and quality are similar as well....I thought this was quite the coincidence and was wondering why lulu was looking at suing Calvin Klein, when this brand was creating almost exact replicas, now it all makes sense!!

Anonymous said...

And no, kyodan is not an exclusive winners/tjmaxx/Marshall's brand as I have seen their stuff at other retailers!

Anonymous said...

hey.... anyone have a problem with fit of lll jackets? i am finding that they are very tight through arm ... and wrist? not sure if its the fit ... or just a problem with my arms????

Anonymous said...

I have only seen kyodan at winners/tj's...which other retailers; would love to check it out

Anonymous said...

Interesting! Seems to me that LLL is losing its value. Could be because they aren't the only one's in the business anymore. I feel like athletic wear is popping up everywhere. Last time I walked into LLL I was very disappointed. It looks like they're trying to hard. I'll admit that they now have competition, but I feel like they're losing it. I have a few basics from them that I bought a few years back and absolutely love them. What I see in their stores now is not very appealing at all. And the quality doesn't seem to be as good. Are they crumbling under the pressure of these new brands?

Anonymous said...

Just want to say that with all the competition out there, I see no reason why I should pay 98$ for lulu pants when I can get brands with better quality & fit for much cheaper. Lulu was one of the only companies making yoga wear at first, so people were excited & didn’t seem to mind paying so much for their stuff. But like I said, there are lots of other brands that make great stuff. Anon 7:51, I completely agree with you regarding their quality, it is not the same anymore and their fit is not great either, especially if you’re anything bigger than a size XS. I for one, will not be spending money in their store..

Anonymous said...

I have a few pairs of kyodan crops and tanks that I bought when i first started yoga. They fit great.... initially. However, after a couple of wears and washes i noticed that the fit started to get a bit looser. (Also i have a tank in what is similar to the ray color and it bled after i washed it, so i guess both brands seem to have that problem.) The crops which fit great seem to slip down my hips the more activity i do which is not an issue at all with my lulu wunder unders.

Anonymous said...

I have the Kyodan wunder unders and love them. I also have some of their scoop neck tanks. And they had a jacket a year or 2 ago that was even more gorgeous than the Define -- unfortunately, I only found it in one color and that didn't work for me.

The Groove-style pants didn't work. They didn't sit right on me. But I do like the leggings and tanks. Very nice quality. Very old-style lulu.

My guess is that it's a Lulu-produced line for the lower-end market. I always keep an eye out for it at TJ Maxx & Marshall's. I have never seen it anywhere else.

Anonymous said...

I didn't read the whole thread.... BUT, I used to sell to Winners ~ they have their own "brands" that they create and have different manufacturers bid or present items to sell under the brand. This occurs in every category ie. clothing, linens, etc.
They would also buy excess runs of stuff we made for ..... name your store The Bay, Home Outfitters, etc and we would repackage and sell under their labels.
It happens ALL THE TIME.
And yes Marshalls TJX Winners = all the same company.

Anonymous said...

i just bought a couple kyodan headbands for $4.99 each at marshalls compared to the $12 headbands at LLL. pretty good quality, I think. They have the silicone under the headband, but it is in a line, not dots. The headbands also do not have the seams going down the middle of the headband like LLLs do. They are also thinner and not as tight and aren't in the same colors that are advertised on LLL. I was wondering how they could get enough business now when yoga clothes are everywhere for a lot cheaper.

Anonymous said...

I bought a kyodan headband at Marshals and a matching tank. The headband has a Lululemon logo on it just like the pic above.....I did not realize it until reading this.

Anonymous said...

ONE factory does the sewing for MANY brands, often not related. For example, one mill in Alabama sewed bras for Victoria's Secret AND Haynes and other "walmart" price point stores. the quality of the fabrics and trims was higher for the VS bras, but the Vanity Fair lower price point materials were sewed in the same mill, often the same seamstresses. so, Lulu is using the same mill as a lower price-point label? could be they own BOTH, and one is made for their high-end stores and other made specifically for the "outlets".

Anonymous said...

I just bought a lululemon headband, already having a Kyodan one and I seem to like the Kyodan one better!! I love this brand!! (If its different!)

Anonymous said...

Canadian Company based in Montreal:

kyodan.clothing

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kyodan-Fitness.../130428740404205

Anon said...

I keep telling myself, let's save for a LLL crop, then I go shop at Winners in active wear, and always find 2 to 4 Kyodan crop I love for 29$ or less. Why have one LLL for 3-4 Kyodan ? It's a no brainer for me. They last well. Mind you I love my LLL that are 4 years old now, only now they start to feel loose in their tightness and a bit of pilling, but nothing for me to put them away. I will wear them to their death. I use both brands for high intensity circuit training frequently and Kyodan are strong built. I will keep buying them until I can afford a new LLL crop that I love (I haven't been able to get in love with their recent stuff).