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Refashioning Fitness


A Villanova Law education affords graduates a competitive edge in markets beyond traditional law practice. Just ask Rachel Blumenfeld ’09. Drawing on her broad knowledge, legal skills and practical experience, she launched an athletic apparel business that’s revolutionizing the industry.

When Blumenfeld was preparing to take the bar exam, she discovered CrossFit as a form of stress relief. After passing the bar and starting her career as a sole practitioner in Colorado, she remained active in the CrossFit community—and one fateful day at the gym, exercise inspired enterprise.

“I realized there weren't any great athletic clothing options for women with a curvy shape or for plus-size women,” she said. “I waited a few years to see if someone else would solve this problem, and when no one did, I decided to take it on myself.”

In 2013, Blumenfeld started the grassroots work of her company, Manifesta, an athletic apparel line designed to help curvy and athletically-built women feel comfortable and confident—without being distracted by a shirt that is riding up or pants that are falling down.

With no experience in the fashion industry, she toiled for months conducting market research, searching for investors and sketching designs. “When you are new to an industry and don't have established relationships, you are often told, ‘That's just the way things go in this business,’” she said. “Because of these roadblocks, my education and background became invaluable on this journey. I used my expertise in contract law to negotiate resolutions to propel and protect the company.”

Today, Manifesta has a 13-piece collection, manufactured in the United States and sold internationally at The company’s unconventional sizing system—which assigns flowers instead of numbers—promotes inclusivity and body positivity.

For Blumenfeld, Manifesta is her dream come true. “I love that I can use the logical, business side of my brain as well as the creative side, and that there are always problems to solve,” she said. “There's never a boring day, and there's always something different to work on.”

Those looking to follow in Blumenfeld’s footsteps will benefit from Villanova Law’s newly-enhanced curriculum which infuses vital business coursework, professionalism skills and real-world learning opportunities into each student’s law school education. Click here to learn more about Villanova Law’s unique educational experience.