Get to Know Engineered Sensation
From unrestricted and free to locked-in and supported, the way that you feel in your pants can affect the way that you train in your pants. We use our technical fabrics combined with innovative construction techniques, as well as strategic fits and features, to create functional garment experiences that help you unlock your ultimate performance potential. This is engineered sensation at lululemon.
Antonia Iamartino, Director of Future Concepts, at work in the Whitespace innovation lab in Vancouver
What is Engineered Sensation?
Relaxed, Naked, Held-in, Hugged, Tight: our new Engineered Sensations came from an unprecedented partnership between science and art at our Vancouver headquarters. When we charged Tom Waller, Vice President of Whitespace, and Antonia Iamartino, Director of Future Concepts, with understanding our “secret sauce” when it comes to pants, we didn’t expect it would change how we design at lululemon. Thinking back, this disruption was probably inevitable—bringing together Tom’s team of scientists, engineers and technologists with Antonia’s team of designers, developers and product creation experts was the perfect meeting of innovative thinkers to elevate our game.
These teams worked tirelessly for over two years, bringing new ideas to the table and challenging one another to dive deeper and deeper into design and innovation at lululemon. What did we learn? Any time you pull a piece of clothing on to your body, you have an experience. Which got us to thinking– what would happen if we started to design specifically with those experiences in mind?
At its core, Engineered Sensation is about how you want to feel. Touch is a sensation that is defined by everything you feel: the fabrics against your skin, the pressure against your body, the friction, the flow of air passing over you as you move. All of these things are telling you how you’re interacting with the world. For us, understanding sensation is really about understanding how your body is moving and what you make that mean. Say you’re running—you feel the rush of air over your body, your muscles vibrate as your feet hit the ground, your lungs fill with each breath that you take. Your body sends all of these messages to your brain where they’re turned into a feeling: “I feel uncomfortable” or “I feel fast.” To engineer sensation is to recognize that by applying clothing, we can influence how we feel things. And if we can influence how you feel things, then we can intentionally create experiences through our garments where you feel more confident, more supported, more free.
"Sensation is a part of the physical but it’s also connected to the emotional way of thinking about how you’re feeling."
—Antonia Iamartino, Director of Future Concepts
Left: Our Tight Stuff Tight, a style within Tight Sensation, in action.
Right: Tom Waller, Vice President of Whitespace, with his working team of innovators.
Compression has always been an important part of the way we design. All of the garments we design and create fall within a spectrum of compression that we call training compression.
What this means is that our gear isn’t going to improve or alter your body’s ability to perform beyond your unique potential of performance. We believe that your body’s natural adaptive response is key to taking your training to the next level. Translation: our gear allows your body to respond, develop and repair naturally according to how much work and effort you put into your workout.
We developed our range of sensations because we believe in the power of choice. From Relaxed Sensation, which offers zero compression and the ultimate feeling of freedom, to Tight Sensation, which offers our highest level of training compression and our most supportive feeling, our spectrum covers the… well, spectrum. We created this range with all of our favourite sweaty activities in mind—you might find that you love Naked Sensation for your yoga practice, Held-in Sensation for your other studio classes and Tight Sensation for your track sessions, or you may find that the classic training compression offered by our Hugged Sensation is perfect for all the ways you love to sweat. That’s the beauty of it: this spectrum was built to give you options and the ability to choose how you want to feel.
So, why sensation? Because when you feel good, you do good. You push yourself harder, further, faster, longer. When you feel good, you forget about all the other things—you drop a little deeper, you hold a little longer, you lift a little more, you see what you thought was your limit and you go a little past that. Because when you feel good, anything is possible.