“It started [in 2000] with me being a customer,” Blakely said of the beginnings of Spanx, which will move its headquarters to the Buckhead Atlanta development in November 2014. “As you know, I was a frustrated consumer that couldn’t find out what to wear under my white pants, right here in Atlanta around the corner in Virginia-Highland.”
The Brookhaven resident told her now-infamous story of never having attended business school or worked in fashion or retail, but taking the leap of investing her $5,000 in savings to develop and manufacture the now multi-million dollar undergarment company.
Thirteen years later, Blakely said she wanted the new Star Power by Spanx line to be bold and fashionable with a real celebrity feel, but accessible to more women at the $22 to $138 price point. Now available at Macy’s, the line includes hosiery, shapers, apparel, bras and loungewear with some featuring added sparkle and intricate design for a more glamorous feel.
Event host Jessica Dauler, who runs the retail website www.jessicashops.com, told the audience her favorite piece was the final item to hit the runway: a pair of shimmery leggings that could be worn as outerwear.
Renee Starke, a Marietta resident, said she came to check out the event to get inspiration for her various events held in the Atlanta area throughout the year to benefit ovarian cancer research.
“Sarah Blakely is incredibly smart and savvy,” Starke said. “She’s a businesswoman who constantly finds ways to meet the needs of modern women.”
Admiration for Blakely also brought out Kristina Giles, a Buckhead resident who works in marketing for Gilbane Building.
“I’m obsessed with her story,” Giles said. “I love what she stands for and how far she has come in such a short amount of time. As a person, she’s incredibly beautiful and smart."