When first-year UT Southwestern medical student Lizzie Cochran came up with an idea for a science-inspired activewear line supporting women last January, she never expected the concept to become a reality so quickly. She can thank Kickstarter for that.
“We launched a campaign [for Epidemia] in April 2015 and got lucky with some good press early on,” says Cochran, a Dallas native. “We ended up surpassing our goal by $5,000. It was reassuring to know that people didn’t mind seeing cells on their pants.”
The cells in question, along with muscle tissue, make up Epidemia’s first collection: “She’s Got It.” The line launched in July. Digitally manipulated images of heart tissue (“She’s Got Heart”), brain cells (“She’s Got Brains”), and nerve synapses (“She’s Got Nerve”) adorn the trendy sports bras and high-rise leggings ranging from $38 to $88 on epidemiadesigns.com—and are surprisingly chic.
“What I’m amazed by in medical school is how beautiful the human body is at the microscopic level,” Cochran says. “I wanted to redefine body image by what’s there in all of us. It’s beautiful and astoundingly efficient.”
So far, Cochran has raised $5,000 for Girlstart, a Austin-based nonprofit that provides summer camps and after-school programs for young girls, and is busy brainstorming new designs for upcoming collections.
“It’s amazing how many science-related things you can make a pun out of,” Cochran adds. “I’m looking at pictures of Mitochondria (a powerhouse) and crystalized adrenaline for an energy collection.” Another of Cochran’s goals is a yoga collection that uses images from lung cells or tissue to promote the message: “Just Breathe.” Pun very much intended.