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Spanx Challenger Invests in Body Confidence

Trafilea, the parent company of digital native, size-inclusive shapewear and intimates brands Shapermint and Truekind, has acquired The BodCon, an annual virtual conference focused on body confidence, body positivity and self-love.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. As part of the deal, Trafilea will also acquire the BodPod podcast.

Trafilea says it is an e-commerce group that builds direct-to-consumer global brands powered by meaningful purposes. Currently, Shapermint and Truekind are the only two apparel brands within Trafilea, but The BodCon now gives the company a content and events arm that can help craft widespread influence within the fashion community.

Citing a recent body image survey from Good Housekeeping, Trafilea said that the acquisition is timely because 65 percent of people believe society has a lot more work to do to become more body positive and size-inclusive.

Having garnered 8 million customers since it launched in 2018, Shapermint offers a growing collection of affordably priced innerwear garments includes bras, shapewear, underwear, leggings and more. The brand said its revenue jumped to $200 million within two years of launch.

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Once exclusively a direct-to-consumer brand, the digital native entered both the wholesale and brick-and-mortar realms for the first time earlier this year. Customers can find styles from the label’s Shapermint Essentials line at 125 Belk stores and 50 Nordstrom stores across the U.S., and on Nordstrom.com and Belk.com. Shapermint also launched its first swimwear collection in March 2022.

The brand’s growth comes as the overall intimate apparel market is booming—with Research and Markets indicating in a 2022 report that the sector is expected to grow $57.3 billion by 2026, representing an 8 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR). In kind, the size-inclusive portion of the market has seen a growth of players in recent years, including AEO-owned Aerie, ThirdLove, Savage X Fenty and Adore Me. Victoria’s Secret, which recently acquired Adore Me, has itself been pivoting in that direction as part of its ongoing brand reinvention.

At the same time, the shapewear market is still in its relative infancy compared to intimates, which could give a longer headway for growth for labels like Shapermint. Shapewear’s total market size is expected to reach $3.8 billion by 2028, according to data from Grand View Research. Incumbent brands like Spanx and Kim Kardashian’s Skims reign supreme in the category, with Aerie recently making an entrance as well in debuting its Smoothez offering.

Santiago Zabala, Trafilea co-founder and CEO, called The BodCon “a perfect complement to Trafilea’s brand portfolio.”

“It will contribute greatly to Shapermint’s longstanding mission of empowering people to celebrate their shape and wear confidence,” Zabala said in a statement. “We’re excited to grow The BodCon and Shapermint’s vibrant and passionate communities built on body confidence, empowerment and self-love.”

The BodCon was co-founded in 2021 by Jess Hunichen and Emily Ward, co-founders of Shine Talent Group, a global talent management and influencer relations agency, after they witnessed the conversations taking place in the social space around body confidence. Hunichen and Ward sought to amplify these voices and further the impact of this movement in launching an event.

Jess Hunichen and Emily Ward, co-founders of The BodCon and Shine Talent Group

“The BodCon team is excited to join the Trafilea family and knows that The BodCon will thrive under its leadership,” Hunichen and Ward said in a joint statement. “Trafilea has invested significantly in furthering the body confidence movement through its products and campaigns, making it an incredibly aligned partner. We feel strongly that Trafilea’s resources and international reach will allow The BodCon to become an even larger and more powerful voice within the body confidence community.”

Hunichen and Ward will remain in their roles following the acquisition, and The BodCon will operate as a standalone brand.

“We look forward to scaling the conference and podcast by leveraging Emily and Jess’s extensive network of impactful content creators, brands and supporters,” Zabala said.

The BodCon and BodPod have featured speakers and guests such as actress Jameela Jamil, who created the inclusivity platform I Weigh; body confidence activist Sarah Nicole Landry; #effyourbeautystandards creator and plus-size model Tess Holliday; and plus-size model Hunter McGrady. 

The next BodCon annual conference will take place Sunday, March 5, 2023.

The BodCon conference can also help fortify Trafilea’s ongoing research to understand consumer demand in the intimates and shapewear spaces. Currently, the company executes approximately 30 customer interviews weekly and studies product reviews, along with conduction various additional research and surveys. Instead of standard size testing with models, Shapermint tests on real women with a wide range of body shapes and sizes to achieve the best fit possible for every body type. This is core to Shapermint’s product development process and its commitment to its mission of inclusivity.