WSJ: Tell me about your lucky red backpack, which you wore to your first Spanx sales meeting at Neiman Marcus. Ms. Blakely: It's just an old-fashioned Eastpack from the early 1990s. When I first cold-called Neiman Marcus to sell Spanx, my friends all begged me not to bring it and to buy a Prada bag instead, even if I had to return it the next day. It's my lucky bag, although I think seeing my butt [in Spanx] actually worked more than the backpack. I had no shame — I took the Neiman Marcus buyer into the bathroom, and as soon as I came out of the stall and she saw my pants [with the Spanx underneath], she said, I'll buy 3,000 pairs.
WSJ: Ms. Paltrow is actually one of many actresses who has praised Spanx. Did you have a moment when you knew you had "arrived"? Ms. Blakely: Actually, it would have to be when Gwyneth told the press she attributed her post-baby body [after the birth of daughter Apple] to Spanx, and said that all the celebrities wear them two pair at a time on the red carpet.