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New Spanx Marketing Targets Feminists Who Also Enjoy Breathing

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

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The New York Times reports that Spanx is trying out a new marketing approach for a changing demographic of women (and men) who no longer want to be compressed. Thanks to the ever-growing athleisure trend, restricted clothing has given way to yoga pants and leggings—a fact that Spanx has had to come to terms with.

"There are a lot of trends that are pushing shapewear down," Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at the NPD Group, told NYT reporter Hiroko Tabuchi. "Why buy underwear that's uncomfortable when you can buy yoga pants which has got stretch to it and can make you look a little slimmer?"

The company is now turning away from promoting the compression aspect of the shapewear; instead, it's marketing the products as a tool to help smooth unwanted bumps rather than sucking everything in and making customers look thinner. The new branding also includes "feminist inspiration" cards in the Spanx packages, each signed by Spanx's founder, Sara Blakely.

"We kept offering reduction, and we heard stories of women coming home at midnight on Saturday and throwing their Spanx out in the garbage," Spanx CEO Jan Singer told Tabuchi. "But the whole world's changed. Now women think: I don't need to change my shape so much. I just want to be comfortable."