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Spanx founder Sara Blakely says the company will grow with denim and more.

Spanx is known for its form-fitting shapewear. However, according to founder Sara Blakely, we are putting a lot of effort into other clothing categories, including denim, in the hope that all clothing will be more comfortable for women.

Founded in the late 1990s, the company is in a position to further expand its direct consumer sales sector and reduce its reliance on other wholesale partners such as discount stores and department stores. Direct sales to consumers are usually more profitable. This also means that Spanx has a closer relationship with its customers.

According to Blackstone, these were two main reasons why investment companies decided to acquire a majority stake in Spanx. Spanx estimates the investment announced on Wednesday at 1.2 billion dollars.

“Not many brands have been successful in that transition,” Ann Chung, global head of consumer affairs at Blackstone, said in a Friday interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” ..

“What we actually saw was consumers following the company and the brand…they did shapewear, leggings, jeans. And they followed all the products and were very loyal,” Chung said.

According to Blakely, about 70% of Spanx’s revenue comes from direct sales channels. Spanx relied on department stores and other wholesalers. In recent years, however, the company has invested more in its own website. This is a change similar to what major consumer brands like Nike, Coach, and Levi Strauss are making to build closer relationships with their customers and get more money out of every transaction. ..

The deal is the latest step for Blackstone to support women’s businesses. This follows Whitney Wolfe’s investment in Bumble and Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine Media Conglomerate.

Founder of Spanx Sara Blakely.

Paul Morigi | Getty Images

In 1998, Blakely launched Spanx in his pocket with just $5,000 earned from the sale of fax machines. Her vision at the time was to create products for women to wear under their clothes so that they would feel more comfortable. She cut off her legs from a pair of pantyhose on the control top to create her prototype. The resulting product was an instant hit for women.

Since then, SPANX has expanded its range to include activewear, denim, and even shapewear for men. Product innovation remains a priority, according to Blakely.

“We defined a category and revolutionized it, and now we’re actively doing it with clothing,” she told CNBC. “Our consumers have said, ‘Put the magic of Spanx in the clothes I wear.’”

Shapewear spaces are getting even more competitive as more women look for comfortable items to add to their wardrobes. Reality check star Kim Kardashian West recently launched a $1.6 billion brand called Skims. Hanesbrands has grown into shapewear through the Bali and Maidenform brands.

“Shapewear is so easy to make and very difficult to adjust correctly that many people fall into this category and finish it in about two years,” Blakely says.

When the deal with Blackstone is signed, Breakley will retain significant shares in the company and continue to oversee its operations. She transfers to the position of Executive Chair Woman.

Spanx founder Sara Blakely says the company will grow with denim and more.