Hollister Newsletter Q1 2017
MAKING A DIFFERENCE WITH MANNY
We featured an article about Manny Cuevas’ journey with his ostomy in the fall 2016 issue of this eNewsletter. Since then, Manny has been receiving touching emails, calls and texts from others in the ostomy community letting him know how his story inspired them.
International fashion icon Manny Cuevas is known for his opulent, exotic couture line—“Wear It Out by Manny.” At first the name of the line was about wearing his designs out on the town, but since his ostomy surgery due to diverticulitis, it has become his mantra for getting out and looking great with an ostomy. Manny’s outlook rang true to people with ostomies from coast-to-coast and overseas.
“It’s amazing how my story touched people of all ages, not just my age group,” explains Manny. “We’re all a family of people with ostomies now, and the inspiration that I’m giving them pales to what they’re giving me.”
After reading his story and sharing it with her husband, Shelly Weller was moved to email Manny. She explained that she had sheltered herself since her ostomy surgery 15 years earlier. Manny invited her to call him and they spoke for hours amid laughter and tears. “Your words of encouragement have helped me lift a weight I haven’t known how to lift,” she said.
Shelly reached out again to tell Manny that she and her husband Todd were planning their first road trip in 15 years and asked if they could meet him in Nashville. This past October, Manny met with them for coffee and bagels.
“She is gorgeous inside and out,” says Manny. “I told her she is model material!”
Manny explained his belief that each person with an ostomy is still the same beautiful person that they’ve always been. But, because of the ostomy, they feel that they have to cover themselves up.
“We have to get rid of the stigma of the stoma,” Manny said. “And I plan on finding ways to do it with my fashion and words of encouragement.”
At the end of their time together the travelers reluctantly left their new friend but called him a few hours later. Todd asked to speak to Manny and said: “You are an angel sent from above. What you’ve done for my wife is one thing, but what you’ve done for us is unbelievable.”
Manuel Cuevas Sr. made Johnny Cash the man in black. Manny designed and created the suit that the man in black was laid to rest in. But, why did Cash contract the Cuevas legacy to help him establish his image? Quite simply, Manny and his father understand that there is psychology in our image. Johnny Cash’s simple, clean-cut black clothing is representative of his respect for all suffering in the world. From an early age, Cash was exposed to loss and disappointment, and coped with these things throughout his life. Cash understood that life wasn’t meant to be simple and happy, life is beautiful because it is messy and complex, and that suffering is one of the single most important aspects of life. And the black clothing designed by the father and son legacy serves as the physical manifestation of Cash’s ideology.
Largely, fashion is designed for the majority. Fashion is defined for those who fit into the bell curve of society. But this is no fun, and it doesn’t allow for everyone to reap the benefits of great materials, great lines, great cuts. We’re constantly saying “be different”, but it doesn’t feel great to be different when fashion can’t accommodate your difference. At Wear It Out, we believe that everyone is entitled to feeling and looking good in their clothes. At Wear It Out, no one is excluded from style, from class, on the basis of their uniqueness.
Our founder, Manny Cuevas, received a colostomy in 2012. He realized that, unfortunately, many people have to opt out of fashion when they experience similar medical difficulties. But he knew this wasn’t right, and Wear It Out is a manifestation of Manny’s quest to conquer this injustice. Please drop us a note if you’d like to share a story about your experience with differences and fashion, or if you would like us to help you in creating an image, individual clothing pieces or an entire wardrobe tailored to your needs.