While Spanx needs no introduction to the female population, what about the mastermind behind the booty-shaping brand? Enter Sara Blakely, a former fax and copy machine salesperson/stand-up comedian, who founded the company nine years ago. The 38-year-old entrepreneur was at the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship on Thursday to show off her new Haute Contour collection -- a fancier lingerie-inspired line that makes the idea of wearing a girdle go down a little bit easier.
What Spanx are you wearing right now?
The Power Mama, from my maternity line of shaper shorts. I'll flash it to you. [She pulls up her dress.] If pregnant women are like me and losing their battle with cellulite, this completely erases it and gets rid of that jiggly wobbly thing.
It's funny that when celebrities make a faux pas by accidentally flashing their Spanx, to you it's great advertising.
It's hilarious! Did you see when [celebrity chef] Paula Deen's pants fell down? She was on live television and she was standing there in her Spanx. It was huge for us!
How did you come up with the name Spanx?
Well, it's all about the butt and Spanx kind of makes your mind wander and go there. Nobody forgets it and I wanted to name it something fun, edgy, and memorable because I didn't have money to advertise. I was trying to launch this brand with $5,000 of my savings.
Best products for a larger/skinner woman?
It depends on the body shape more than the weight. If you carry your weight in the middle, try anything high-waisted. If your concern is your hips, thighs, or rear, use the shaper shorts.
Tell us about the new Haute Contour collection.
Lace has always been just an accent piece and it never had function, so Spanx spent two years developing a lace with power. We developed a mesh and lace that didn't show under clothing and a lot of women are just wearing the camisoles with jeans. No one has to know it's a shaping piece.