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October 21, 2021

Spanx, one of America's most prominent shapewear companies, is now worth $1.2 billion after inking a deal with Blackstone. The private equity firm will take a majority stake in the brand, the two companies announced Wednesday. While they did not disclose how much Blackstone paid for its stake, the firms noted the eight-figure valuation.

"This is a really important moment in time for female entrepreneurs," said Spanx founder Sara Blakely, who will keep a "significant" equity stake in the business and become its executive chairwoman. She has said that when she founded Spanx in 2000, she did so with $5,000 in savings.
 
"I started this company with no business experience and very little money, but I cared the most about the customer, and that gave me the courage to launch the company," she said in a statement Wednesday.

The companies said the deal would allow Spanx to ramp up its online presence and "expand its global footprint," as well as its product line. Shapewear is often worn as a figure-hugging undergarment that smooths, slims or otherwise alters body shape. The global compression and shapewear market is expected to reach $7 billion by 2030.

Skims, the company founded in 2019 by Kim Kardashian West, is another prominent US shapewear brand.
When Forbes designated Kardashian West a billionaire earlier this year, the financial publication attributed a chunk of that to the success of Skims, which a source told the magazine was valued at more than $500 million. The New York Times has pegged the company's value at $1.6 billion.

Blakely was named by Forbes as the youngest self-made female billionaire in 2012. She told CNN Business in 2018 that she tried to hold down a handful of gigs — including a failed tryout to be Goofy at Disney World — before founding her company. "My dream is for there to be many more female inventors," she said at the time. "We need the contribution of women." Blackstone and Spanx said Wednesday that they want to create an "all-female" board of directors at the apparel firm.