IN THE WORLD OF LADIES’ LINGERIE, designer Nancy Ganz is bringing up the rear. She’s also cinching waists, tightening tummies and shaping thighs. As the creator of the Thigh-slimmer and Belly Band, among other flab-suppressing undergarments, Ganz, 40, is giving women a means to shape their ends, and pretty much whatever else they want to realign.
And are they grateful. Ganz’s line, called Bodyslimmers, which range in price from $25 to $80, has racked up sales of $10 million this year. One of her biggest hits, the Butt Booster—a $35 garment that utilizes Lycra and strategically placed seams—is shipped to stores at the rate of 30,000 a month. “Let’s face it: When we get to a certain age, we jiggle,” says Ganz, whose various creations have found their way into the closets of Hillary Clinton and Nicole Kidman. “And all women think they have bulges, whether they’re a size 4 or 24.”
The daughter of a garment-industry executive and a clothing-designer mother, Ganz, a Long Island, N.Y., native, started her own sportswear firm in 1986. “One day I tried on one of my own tight dresses and thought, ‘God, I can see my tummy!’ ” she recalls. “I realized if I was a size 8, how would women bigger than me wear it?” In 1989 she launched her first Bodyslimmer, the Hipslip, an updated girdle minus the whalebones. “You can only work out so many days a week,” says Karen Bromley, spokeswoman for the Intimate Apparel Council. “Nancy has impacted the way people think about shapewear by treating it as fashion.”
Living in a spacious Central Park West apartment with husband Mitchell Steir, 40, a real estate executive, and their son Max, 4, Ganz—four months pregnant with her second child—now plans to respond to requests she has received from men. Due in February are the Man Band and the Double Agent Boxer. “At first I thought it was only transvestites interested,” she says. “But then I realized all men sometimes need a confidence boost.”