In a recent interview with Bloomberg TV, lululemon athletica (NASDAQ:LULU) founder and Chairman Chip Wilson responded to a question about complaints of pilling on some of the apparel company's pants by saying, "Frankly, some women's bodies don't work" for the clothes. Not surprisingly, there was a backlash after the statement, as at least a dozen women posted on the company's Facebook page, saying they would no longer support the brand, and Wilson himself received a heaping of criticism from the media. Even rivals such as Under Armour got in on the fracas, as sponsor and Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn said Under Armour's clothes were "desinged for all shapes."

But this isn't the first time Lululemon or its founder has dabbled in controversy. Should investors be fearful of a leader who alienates his customers? Fool contributor Jeremy Bowman breaks down the issue and tells shareholders and potential buyers what they need to know.

Fool contributor Jeremy Bowman and Sean O'Reilly have no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends lululemon athletica. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.