Former VCU student creates clothing company to promote body positivity

Former VCU student creates body positivity clothing company

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Former VCU student Emma Manis, who overcame anorexia, is looking to promote body positivity with her new clothing company Evolve.

“There is no limit to what beauty is or what it means,” said owner and CEO, Emma Manis.

Manis, 24, graduated from VCU two years ago in 2017 with a degree in fashion merchandise. Manis says she was excited to leave her own stamp on the world.

Emma Manis modeling her own custom leather jacket
Emma Manis modeling her own custom leather jacket (Source: Emma Manis)

“I wanted to be a celebrity stylist when I first started school," said Manis.

But plans changed when Manis says she was diagnosed with anorexia, and it was the wake-up call that allowed her to find her true purpose in fashion.

"If you do not choose recovery, you’re going to die,” Manis said the doctor told her.

Emma Manis battling anorexia
Emma Manis battling anorexia (Source: Emma Manis Facebook)

Manis decided to take her experience with her eating disorder and reshape the way women see themselves in their clothes with her clothing company.

“Our whole message is that we’re not just selling clothing, we’re selling confidence and the belief that you are beautiful just the way that you are,” said Manis.

Evolve sells everything from shoes, shirts and jackets. The clothes range in sizes from extra small to size 24.

“We pretty much have something for everyone, which I think makes us unique,” said Manis.

And besides the size ranges, some of Emma's clothes provides a little extra motivation.

“My favorite thing we do have is these leather jackets because of the message on them. We usually try to take messages that empower women or talk about body positivity and self-love,” said Manis.

Emma Manis custom leather jacket
Emma Manis custom leather jacket (Source: NBC12)

Emma says there have been so many times where she walks into a store where she feels awful about herself and she hopes her company changes a woman’s experience.

“Seeing them walk out in something they feel good in and the smile on their face is the most rewarding thing ever," said Manis.

Right now, Evolve currently operates online but they also do pop-up boutiques on college campuses or with nonprofits in the area. Fifteen percent of the sales will be donated to the nonprofit organization.

Their next pop up is scheduled for sometime in late October.

Prices range from $25 for t-shirts to $100 for custom leather jackets.

If you would like to purchase clothes or have a custom order, click here.

Evolve Clothing Company
Evolve Clothing Company (Source: NBC12)

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