How the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire continues to give shape to women–literally
Many women fantasize about getting Spanx-ed, just like celebrities, but the premium shapewear’s price tag keeps some from achieving their couture-ready shape dreams.
Not to worry. Spanx, the not-so-secret secret beneath many flawless red-carpet looks of Hollywood divas, has finally brought to the country its Assets Red Hot Label range. This line was created for women who don’t make as much as the Oprah Winfreys, Gwyneth Paltrows, Beyonces or Kim Kardashians of the world.
A Spanx Undie-tectable Panty, a popular tummy tamer, for instance, retails north of P3,000, a price that’s surely prohibitive. Compared to shoes, which a woman would buy as many trendy styles as she wants, even if the soles don’t say “Manolo Blahnik” or “Christian Louboutin,” she won’t simply settle for a shapewear that doesn’t deliver on its promise.
Assets was launched in the US in 2006, and the highly successful bridge line of Spanx has spawned the Red Hot Label, debuted last year, with more fun and fashionable styles for younger women.
Stephanie Mailhot of Spanx International, who presented the line to local media last week, however, said that while the range may be suited for “the younger girl who’s looking for a great shapewear at a great value,” Assets Red Hot Label has no strict specific target market.
‘From teenagers to grandmothers’
“We always say for all of our brands, from teenagers to grandmothers,” Mailhot said. “We’re thinking of all women who want more than one of something. If it’s a great product, you would want to own more than one, and this is what this range is about.”
Assets Red Hot Label is about 20-40 percent cheaper than the premium Spanx line. A check on the Spanx website shows that, for instance, an Assets Red Hot Label Super Control Mid-thigh tummy tamer is $24; its Spanx equivalent, the Trust Your Thinstincts Mid-thigh, sells from $58-$62. The Silhouette Serums Open-bust Mid-thigh Body Shaper from Red Hot Label is at $58-60; its Spanx counterpart, the Slimplicity Open-bust Mid-thigh Bodysuit, is $84-88.
And Red Hot Label’s equivalent of the P3,000+ Undie-tectable Panty called Cheeky Control Tummy Tamer Brief? A little upward of P1,600.
Spanx is distributed here by Rustan Marketing Corp. And while the premium Spanx, which has been here for a few years, will continue to be sold exclusively at Rustan’s Department Stores, the Assets Red Hot Label will be available at SM Megamall and North Edsa, and Landmark Makati and Trinoma.
Assets Red Hot Label comes in three slimming levels, with corresponding collections for each. There’s Medium for subtle slimming and smoothing; Super for high level of slimming and shaping; and Ultra for targeted taming and maximum control.
Under Medium, for example, are the Featherweight Firmers, body- and half-slips that are sheer and made of lightweight material ideal for warm weather. For Super, there are the Top This camisoles and tank tops, which take care of muffin tops. The hems anchor to the pants and don’t ride up.
The Ultra level includes the Focused Firmers and the Silhouette Serums. A bestseller, according to Mailhot, is the Focused Firmers High Waist Mid-thigh, which tames the reviled bilbil and saddlebags, but skips the butt area for those who want to maintain the perky look of their hind side. This maximum slimming level has zoned compression in specific problem areas.
Designed by women
“These are all designed by women, so we know women’s body issues,” Mailhot said. On concerns of discomfort when wearing shapewear, she added, “We test all our products on real women, it even reaches the Philippines. We always make sure we use the best quality fabrics. We want to make sure that it’s comfortable and breathable.” All Spanx products are designed for everyday wear.
Creating body solutions that more women can afford follows the vision of Spanx inventor and founder Sara Blakely to empower women the world over. The one-time comedian who dreamed of becoming a lawyer (but failed the LSAT twice), gives back a portion of Spanx’s sales to the Sara Blakely Foundation, which aids women in becoming self-sufficient by tapping their entrepreneurial skills.
Blakely invented the first Spanx by cutting the feet off her pantyhose to achieve a smooth silhouette underneath her white trousers. This was in 2000. The Florida, US, native has expanded her brand to include over 200 products, and worn by women—and men, with Spanx for Men—across 50 countries.
Spanx has become a household name after celebrities invariably declared on the red carpet that they had Spanx underneath their couture.
Blakely, now 42, was recently recognized as the youngest female self-made billionaire in the world. She made headlines just weeks ago when she joined Warren Buffett and Bill Gates’ Giving Pledge movement—the first female to do so—which appeals to the über-rich to donate a large part of their fortune to philanthropic causes.
The Spanx creator vowed to donate at least half of her money to charity.
PHOTOS: ALANAH TORRALBA