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Deal Divas

Stephanie Hayes, Katie Sanders, Kameel Stanley, & Keyonna Summers

Deal Diva Interview: Designer Shani Grosz shapes up women at Westshore Plaza



shani_grosz.jpgYou know the drill. Wiggle into elastic shapewear. Stare at your beige, swaddled midsection in the mirror. Sigh. Shimmy into dress. Notice portion of pudge jutting between shapewear and bra. Cry.

A New York designer is trying to combat this terror with a simple solution: Build the shapewear into the dress. Ding ding ding! Shani Grosz, at right, has created the Nue By Shani line of dresses that smooth and shape. She's coming to Dillard's at International Plaza this weekend. Stop by anytime Friday to meet Shani and enter to win a makeover. One lucky lady will be selected to return Saturday and get a new look courtesy of Grosz.

Her dresses cost around $200, which is a little steep for us average gals. But we can attest from last-minute wedding scrambles -- Spanx ain't cheap, and the Hollywood 48-Hour Miracle Diet has its ramifications. We caught up with Grosz from New York this week, yapping about everything from shapewear woes to hiding in the closet to standing tall.

What's going on at Dillard's this weekend?

We're doing New You Makeovers across the country, traveling to different Dillard's locations. We’re doing a drawing. Someone gets selected and we do a head-to-toe makeover letting the client enjoy the new you. We're doing her makeup, we're doing her hair. She’s able to pick a dress from our line and a new pair of shoes.

Tell us about your collection.

This is a collection of dresses that, it doesn’t matter what size you are, it's designed to help a woman look her best. It's a feel good product. It's comfortable and it holds you in. It's not like when you try on a dress and zip it and look in the mirror and say, "I need to put on a girdle," or "I’ll see how this looks with control hose."


Smaller women want to feel sucked-in, too, right?

Should I give you the big laugh? We thought this was going to be more for larger-sized women. Next season, we’re already planning size two.  I've designed for woman for over 15 years. I've designed for real women, I've designed for celebrities, I've designed for characters on television shows. You know what the number one question is when they try on dresses? "Does this make me look fat?"  I've heard this from size zeros and size twos.

Were you a fan of shapewear?

I'm a shapely girl. I'm also one of those women who, when I put on a dress, the first question I ask is, "Does this make me look fat?" I'm a size four, but I have shape and I have a figure. I don’t like the girdle. I don’t like underwear lines.

Shapewear is a lot of work.

After so many years of putting shapewear together with outerwear, that was my a-ha moment. When women get out of these dresses, they're not left standing in their scuba gear. Women have come over to me who have been married 30 years and say, "You can’t understand. I still hide from my husband in the closet because he doesn’t know that’s what I’m wearing underneath."

How long has this line been in the works?

The development of this line was a two-year process. We’ve been available for nine months in Dillard's, Lord and Taylor, 500 specialty stores around the U.S. We're sold in 44 countries, Canada, Dubai…


What inspires your designs?

I’m inspired by nature, the colors in nature, textures in nature, flowers in nature.  A lot of the designs in the collection are very feminine. We cover every season.


What are you seeing this season?

Bright, bold colors are a big trend. Color blocking is another big trend of the season. What’s wonderful about color blocking is we use this in our design aesthetic. We’re not just relying on the shapewear to make her look slim. We use color blocking to create optical illusions.

Aside from shapewear, what can we wear to look longer and leaner?

A great, hot pair of heels.

Deal Diva Stephanie

Photos: Dresses from Nue by Shani

[Last modified: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 3:26pm]


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