Forget Spanx – lipo patients' post-op 'faja' girdles are the style set's extreme new answer to hourglass curves
01:28 GMT, 17 May 2012
A super-tight girdle traditionally worn after liposuction surgery is enjoying a revival among New York's style set.
The faja, originally created more than 50 years ago in Colombia, works like a corset that shifts a woman's organs and flesh in order to create the much-coveted hourglass silhouette made popular in recent years by Mad Men actress Christina Hendricks.
But unlike other popular shapewear on the market, many believe that the restrictive garment is too extreme for daily use.
Body shaping: The faja, a garment that is used by post-lipo patients, is becoming popular among women. It was first seen more than 50 years ago but was rejected by the fashion world
Jean Pierre Velez of Colfajas, a Colombian-based exporter, told The New York Times that his U.S. distribution rates increased by 47per cent last year.
He shipped 60,000 fajas in total which was 'thousands more than in past years.'
Coveted: Mad Men actress Christina Hendricks (above) has helped make the hourglass silhouette enviable
The faja, which takes its name from the Spanish word for wrap, was widely rejected by clothing retailers in the Seventies as it was considered too extreme as well as a symbol for anti-feminism at the time.
Up until recently, it had been predominantly used as a medical garment to help keep the skin of liposuction patients tight as it healed.
The new demand is believed to have been fuelled by the Latin American women living in Queens, who use the faja as a body contouring device.
Monica Arias, a Long island importer of the garment, said: 'In the beginning it was almost only for Latinos and black women. Now the white people are asking for fajas.'
Lisa Cipriani, the owner of Caralinda Mis Fajas in Queens, told the paper that the garment is especially popular among younger women.
She said: 'I'm from the Seventies; we rejected it. This is the new generation and this is an option.'
She claimed that a faja can suck a stomach in so tight that a wearer may lose their appetite as a result.
Fajas are even popular among slender women who might seemingly not need any shaping undergarments.
Moussa Belaghi, who owns the Aishti store in Jackson Heights, Queens, added: 'Only chubby fat girls used to use this; now everybody is.
'If she has the smallest little thing at her waist, she wants to use this.'
Full-body jumpsuits and tight belly bands are just two of the varieties on offer to men as well as women.
It can cost anywhere from $20 to $70 and is available in a variety of fabrics including Lycra, cotton, nylon and latex.