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Lululemon’s shapeshifting puffer transforms into 26 different coats

The brand’s collaboration with designer Roksanda Ilinčić has a high-fashion price tag to match: $1,000.

Lululemon’s shapeshifting puffer transforms into 26 different coats
[Image: Lululemon]

To refer to Lululemon’s newest garment, made in collaboration with London-based designer Roksanda Ilinčić, as a “coat” doesn’t do it justice: It’s better described as a work of art.

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In its purest form, the “Inner Expanse Infinity Coat” is a pink ankle-length puffer coat, with a purple waterproof trench coat layer on top of it, and it’s topped off with a large puffer hood. In campaign images, a woman is wearing the $998 coat in a wheat field at sunset as if it were a gown, with the puffer billowing gloriously behind her. The coat encapsulates Ilinčić’s iconic aesthetic: Her love of bold colors and her feminine touch, full of ribbons, draping, and flowing fabrics. She’s best known for her collections of cocktail dresses, silk blouses, and pantsuits that come in crimson, peach, and orchid.

Thanks to subtle, hidden buttons and zippers, the Infinity Coat can be transformed in 26 different ways. Among its many variations, it can be flipped inside out to reveal a purple puffer exterior, or the sleeves can be removed to create a vest. And to make it even more convenient, the puffer can be neatly packed into a little pouch in one of the pockets, making it easy to throw into your luggage.

The coat takes an important trend in recent outerwear design—adaptability—and pushes it to its most logical extreme. This year, many brands have created coats that can be transformed in a few ways. I recently wrote about a Canada Goose jacket with a wool exterior and a puffer interior that can be worn in four ways, and another Lululemon jacket that is part of the brand’s main line can be worn in three ways, as a puffer, a raincoat, and a heavier layered coat. But Ilinčić’s coat seems to contain an almost infinite number of possibilities for transformability.

The coat is just one part of a 16-piece collection that Ilinčić designed for Lululemon. The items include tights, joggers, and workout wear, translating the colors and design elements that Ilinčić frequently uses in evening wear into activewear pieces. Some of these are Ilinčić’s spin on beloved Lululemon classics, such as the Enlite Bra, which comes in a palette of navy and emerald. There are also several pieces that you might bring to wear after a workout, including an asymmetrical skirt and dress, made from a fabric that Lululemon describes as “technical satin.”

For two decades, Lululemon has been known for its workout wear. But from the start, customers have always worn the brand’s clothes outside the gym and into everyday life, helping propel the “athleisure” movement and prompting many other brands to design everyday clothes with technical fabrics. Over the last few years, Lululemon has focused on designing streetwear, including launching The Lab, a high-end fashion-forward clothing line. But this new collaboration sharpens the company’s ambitions—bringing high performance into the world of high fashion.

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About the author

Elizabeth Segran, Ph.D., is a staff writer at Fast Company. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts

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