Career Code: How One Woman Reshaped the Fashion World

In honor of Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power’s new book, The Career Code: Must-Know Rules for a Strategic, Stylish, and Self-Made Career ($12), we’re running an interview series featuring 17 questions (in honor of the book’s 17 chapters) about the work lives of the most inspirational female leaders in the fashion industry. So far, we’ve tapped Sally Singer, Emily & Meritt, Rachel Zoe, and more. Up next? Sara Blakely.

Back in 2000, frustrated with the lack of comfortable, functional undergarments on the market, Sara Blakely founded Spanx. Fast-forward 16 years and you’ve got a gamut-spanning empire of women wearing Blakely’s shapewear pieces, which have expanded into categories like leggings, jeans, active, and even swim. Her growth and success have also been marked by efforts such as the Sara Blakely Foundation, supporting education and entrepreneurship among women. Additionally, she has been included on Time’s 100 Most Influential People list, was featured on the cover of Forbes, and three years ago signed The Giving Pledge (an organization focused on billionaires giving back), a generous endeavor that translates to donating half of her wealth in efforts to support women.

We can’t say we’re surprised by Spanx’s gargantuan success. After all, it taps into one of the most simplified desires shared by virtually every woman: the need to look and feel good. On that note, scroll down to read our interview with this inspiring entrepreneur!

If you had a chance to sit down and talk to someone about her career, who would it be? Let us know in the comments below!