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Whatever happened to last year's breakout stars?
NEW YORK (AP) — No “downward-facing dog” is required.
Lululemon on Wednesday says no demonstrations of yoga or any other positions are needed to return the pricey black yoga pants that the company pulled from shelves last week after finding that they were too sheer.
“We do not require guests to demonstrate the sheerness of their bottoms,” Sari Martin, a Lululemon spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed response to a query.
The Vancouver-based yoga gear maker’s statement comes a day after a New York Post report that was widely circulated by the media recounted one woman’s tale of being asked by sales staff to bend over to prove that the yoga pants she was trying to return were sheer.
“The sales associate then perused my butt in the dim lighting of the change room and deemed them ‘not sheer,’ ” the woman, Christina Phillips of Toronto, told The New York Post.
Martin would not comment on the specific instance recounted by the Post, but said Wednesday that this is not standard policy for Lululemon staffers. To the contrary, she said that people who bought the black “Luon” yoga pants since March 1, either online or in store, can return them for a full refund, “no questions asked.”
The hubbub comes a week after Lululemon said it was recalling its black “Luon” yoga pants, which account for about 17 percent of all women’s pants in its stores, because their material was too sheer. The pants are made from a combination of nylon and Lycra fibers.
The company still hasn’t determined the cause of the problem. And officials have declined to say when the items would be back in its stores. But the company has added more stringent controls and is diversifying its suppliers to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
The flap is a blemish for a company that has been a superstar in the athletic world. Lululemon has grown quickly as women and men have picked up its $100 yoga pants and other pricey workout clothing. Its devoted fans helped Lululemon, founded in 1998, become a $1.4 billion business.
But the pants snafu isn’t the only quality issue the chain has had, though. The company also has had sheerness problems with swimsuits and light-colored pants.
RBC Capital Markets analyst Howard Tubin said that while the sheer pants are an “odd” situation, it’s just a growing pain for the rapidly expanding company.
“They tried to get in front of this by not letting the merchandise satay on store shelves and they’re working with vendors to try to figure out how this happened,” he said. “They’re probably handling it the best way they can.”
Shares fell 75 cents to $62.28.
The star of “Beasts of the Southern Wild” charmed practically everyone at the Oscars, where she was the youngest best actress nominee ever; she went on to film a remake of “Annie” opposite Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz.
Carly Rae Jepsen
Jepsen, who had 2012’s song of the summer with “Call Me Maybe,” released the fifth and final single from her debut album in January 2013. She toured the U.S. in mid-2013 -- just as Daft Punk and Robin Thicke battled to succeed her as icons of the summer.
Honey Boo Boo
2012’s biggest reality star, the young pageant contestant Alana Thompson, had a quieter time this year, with a second season whose ratings were strong but whose buzz was a bit muted. America was, by now, accustomed to young Thompson, and outraged or scandalized reactions were reserved for other TLC programming, like “The Man With the 132-Pound Scrotum.”
Ocean missed out on the top Grammys for which he was nominated in early 2013; he bounced back quickly with featured appearances on albums by Kanye West, Jay Z and Beyoncé, and is at work on a new album. Things are looking up!
The “21 Jump Street” and “Magic Mike” star had a marginally less charmed 2013, with “White House Down” failing to connect with moviegoers and “Foxcatcher” delayed until next year. It may get worse before it gets better: His big 2014 sci-fi flick, “Jupiter Ascending,” looks … well, a little weird!
With their third album in 21 months hitting No. 1 immediately upon its fall 2013 release, the boy band that broke into America in 2012 would seem to be here to stay for a while. Still, they looked a bit nervous in their reaction shots during the Video Music Awards’ ‘N Sync reunion; maybe not this year, maybe not next, but eventually, the Justin of One Direction is going to break out. For now, though, things look good!
Lana Del Rey
The famously uncomfortable “Saturday Night Live” musical guest overcame endless mockery from 2012 to land her first top-10 hit in the summer of 2013 -- a remix of a year-old song, “Summertime Sadness.” As the co-writer of “Young and Beautiful,” the love theme from “The Great Gatsby,” Del Rey is such a front-runner for the best original song Oscar (last won by Adele) that there has been a direct-mail campaign to academy voters against her. The song was also played at the most romantic event of the year: Kanye West’s stadium marriage proposal to Kim Kardashian.
Wilson, who charmed fans of 2012’s “Pitch Perfect,” had a rockier 2013, with her sitcom “Super Fun Night” struggling creatively and in the ratings. Her next planned movies are both sequels, to “Kung Fu Panda” and -- hoping lightning will strike twice -- to “Pitch Perfect.”
Another 2012 music icon, Gotye won the record of the year trophy at the 2013 Grammys for “Somebody That I Used to Know.” He released no new singles in 2013, and has told the press he has been struggling to complete new material. Good luck, Gotye!
The golden boy of the 2012 Olympics, without feats of aquatic derring-do to distract the public this year, saw his always-tenuous persona completely shift from “amiable jock” into “utter dolt” with his E! reality series. Worst of all, the series was canceled.
In 2012, the young actress -- best known for her role in the indie “Winter’s Bone” and a supporting part in the “X-Men” franchise -- had marquee roles in the first “Hunger Games” film and in David O. Russell’s comedy “Silver Linings Playbook.” In 2013, she played to her strengths: After winning an Oscar, she starred in the second “Hunger Games” movie, on whose publicity tour she managed to charm everyone in America, and had another role in a David O. Russell comedy, “American Hustle,” for which she might just win ANOTHER Oscar. By 2014, she may end up running a major studio, or serving as president.
The breakout bikini model of 2012 made a repeat appearance on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue -- and got to do high-fashion spreads in Elle, Vogue and Vanity Fair. She was cast in a Cameron Diaz comedy, too. Some types of appeal are eternal!
E. L. James
The “50 Shades” novelist now gets to help share some input into a movie adaptation set for release in 2015. She probably never needs to work again! Isn’t that great? Isn’t that … just … great?
The “Gangnam Style” phenom performed at New Year’s 2013, but will spend New Year’s 2014 flipping channels to find his pistachio ad, his goofy antics having been outdone in the past year by “The Fox” singers Ylvis. Nothing meme can stay.
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