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Two Jewish fashion icons supporting woman in the industry – The Jerusalem Post

Being a woman can be challenging – the world of fashion serves as a place of both expression and comfort. Self-made entrepreneurs and fashion icons Tory Burch and Sara Blakely stand at two ends of that spectrum, filling it in.

Blakely believes it is her “calling to support women.”

So says her Instagram bio, but Blakely has made this her slogan, and has manifested it in her self-made company, Spanx.

Spanx is an undergarment company, the genius of Sara herself, armed with the goal of “help[ing] women feel great about themselves and their potential.”

The story goes, according to the website, that she was looking for a garment that would give her smooth look under her white pants. She cut the feet off of her pantyhose, and that was it. As of August 4, Blakely’s net worth stands at $750 million, according to her Forbes profile.

Spanx offers a wide range of women’s clothing, from undergarments to comfy lounge-wear.

Shopping is cool, but Spanx has a rotating philanthropy board to make Spanx’s products accessible in a modern capitalist society, available to women everywhere.

“Simply because of their gender, they are not given the same chance I had to create my own success and follow my dreams,” Blakely wrote in her Giving Pledge back in 2013.

The Giving Pledge is a forum which facilitates philanthropists giving back to their communities and causes they care about. Blakely fits the bill, committing half of her wealth, according to the Spanx Foundation’s website.

In her pledge, she wrote: “I am committed to the belief that we would all be in a much better place if half the human race (women) were empowered to prosper, [to] invent.

“While many of the world’s natural resources are being depleted, one is waiting to be unleashed – women.”

With the rotation, each board decides where the portion of the company’s profits goes.

Blakely’s calling doesn’t stop there. Spanx is the brains behind the Leg-UP program, which markets the products of other female entrepreneurs in the company’s catalog, Blakely explains in her pledge.

TORY BURCH, a trend-setter fashion name, provides the clothes that Spanx goes under.

The company was established by Tory herself in 2004, with the goal of empowering women in general, and women entrepreneurs in particular.

It’s not all fashion. The Tory Burch Foundation, established in 2009, is dedicated to guiding female entrepreneurs to exposure and success by providing them with resources.

It includes a fellowship program, a capital program which facilitates affordable loan lending to women entrepreneurs, as well as a webinar series to make business management education more widely accessible.

In 2017, the company launched the #EmbraceAmbition initiative, fighting back against stereotypes, sexist double standards relating to ambition and unconscious, unaddressed biases regarding gender, race and sexuality.

“As a designer, I strive to create beautiful pieces that inspire women to live with confidence and optimism. As an entrepreneur, I want to build giving back into everything we do,” said Burch, according to the company website.

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