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Sassybax’s Latest Problem Solver

Amanda Kennedy, creator of the Sassybax bra to end back bulge, is shipping another problem-solver this month.

Amanda Kennedy, creator of the Sassybax bra to end back bulge, is shipping another problem-solver this month — a control slip with a built-in bra that is comfortable to walk and sit in.

This story first appeared in the September 15, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“I noticed you can’t walk in seamless slips — it’s like having your knees hobbled,” said Kennedy, a former TV actress based in Los Angeles. “We graduated the compression so you can sit in it without it riding up, and walk, and it controls the tummy and up.”

The microfiber, nylon and spandex slip has three different compressions and a 3-inch jersey hem for freedom of movement. It will be offered in black and nude and retail for $78.

Kennedy has concentrated on smooth shapewear since she launched Sassybax in 2004 with the Torso Trim, a seamless long-line tank with a built-in bra that is still the company’s top seller. She branched out with seamless bras and butt-lifting panties and now has 12 products. Sassybax shipped $10 million of product at retail last year and sales are up in 2008, she said.

The company sells to Neiman Marcus and 700 fashion and lingerie specialty stores. It expanded into a 10,000 square-foot office and warehouse facility off Venice Boulevard in May.

With “every product I have met resistance in the beginning,” Kennedy said. “I have a long-leg girdle panty made on a Santoni machine that I have a patent on. It lifts the tush and rounds and separates it instead of smashing it down. This business is so guy-driven, and when I went to manufacture it, I said, ‘Just think of it like a bra cup on the butt,’ and they were like, ‘What? What?’”

Kennedy tries all samples herself and gets feedback from her friends and several fit models before products go into production.

“I really listen to the model who is a 2X,” she said. “If it can work for a 6 or 8 or a 2X, then it’s a good product.”

Sassybax’s last launch was Very Bare, a $78 backless strapless stick-on bra in sizes AA to DD that shipped in March. It’s the company’s top seller at Neiman Marcus, Kennedy said.

“People are amazed that it holds up a double D,” she said. “It went to Cannes on J.Lo under a Dior gown, so that was exciting. We’ve had wonderful feedback from Rosario Dawson, Amy Smart, Blake Lively, Heather Graham and Penélope Cruz.”

Kennedy, who grew up in Dallas, has Hollywood connections from acting in a variety of TV shows, including “Dallas,” “Dynasty,” “CHiPs,” “Full House,” “B.J. and the Bear” and “Remington Steele.”