VCU Alumni Creates Body-Positive Clothing Line

For Evolve, a fashion company located in Richmond, beauty has no limits. The diverse and body-positive clothing line first began in Oct. 2017. An idea born from two women, Colleen Hegarty and Emma Manis. 

The pair who were old high school friends first came together when Hegarty contacted Manis about her shooting photos for both of their Instagram accounts. After, they realized their skills and creative minds could come together and make something beautiful.

Manis who had just recently graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in fashion merchandising and Hegarty who had started a photography business, decided to combine their strengths to create a fashion line that catered toward all shapes, sizes, races and gender identities.

“We called it Evolve because we wanted to give women the message that throughout their entire life they're going to be evolving and so does their clothing taste, their fashion, their style,” said Manis. “So, we wanted to name our company Evolve because we wanted to evolve alongside them through their lives.”  


The body-positive clothing line and message came from wanting to encompass all shapes and sizes, but it also came from a personal place for co-creator Emma Manis. After fighting a long battle with anorexia, Manis wanted to end the stigma surrounding eating disorders and change women's shopping experience through Evolve.  

“We truly do believe that beauty comes in all forms, and it should be celebrated…,” said Manis “We wanted to kind of change the experience for women who were shopping for clothing, because you're so impacted by the ads that you see, the models that you see, so when people come to our website we want them to feel like they can see themselves in our clothing.”

Evolve became a way for Manis to heal and to ensure that anyone else with an eating disorder knew they weren’t alone in their experience. 

It's been a long ride,” said Manis. “Every day is still a challenge but I think, as Evolve has given me almost an outlet to use my experience to make sure that no one else has to go through that…I think Evolve has the ability to at least change the way women see themselves.”

The company regularly has pop-up shops around Richmond to advertise its clothing and message. The clothing line has an upcoming pop-up on Oct. 18 from 6 to 9 p.m. Stella & Dot, a local jewelry company, will also be at the pop-up selling their pieces. 20% of all sales will be donated to Breast Cancer Awareness and the YMCA as a part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

For more information on the pop-up visit the company’s Instagram, @shopevolve.


Photo Credit: 1