On a relatively warm winter’s day, I caught Montclair State fashionista, Madelyn Rosario, at Dinallo Heights.
“Fashion can be a form of self-interpretation,” Rosario said. “I grew up wearing a school uniform all of my life so the only times I could truly express myself was when I was at home playing around in my closet. I think being so restricted on what I could wear is what led me to have so much passion for fashion and style.”
The 21-year-old junior was inspired to declare a marketing major while in high school. Rosario was part of the Style Squad at the Cherry Hill Mall and the coordinators were two women in the marketing department of the mall.
“I saw how much fun they had while promoting the mall through fashion,” said Rosario. “I thought to myself, ‘Is this even a job?’ Yes, they were getting paid to have fun and I wanted that job.”
Prior to this position, Rosario had dreams of studying theater, however, when her parents moved her to South Jersey she said, “That dream was lost for me. I felt like I had nothing going for me anymore.”
Fortunately, she had such a positive experience as a style guru and model for the Cherry Hill Mall, of which she said, “It lifted me from my depression and enabled me to open up in making friends. I met lifetime friends through fashion.”
Rosario has been involved with various fashion endeavors since beginning her collegiate career, of which she said, “My first year at Montclair State I became Assistant Fashion Director of an up-and-coming magazine called 1908.”
“From there, I interned for Engie Style and had the opportunity to participate in a Bloomingdale’s fashion show for Short Hill’s Mall [and] Carrie Hammer’s NYFW show. I helped Jamie Brewer get ready—talk about starstruck. Last year, everyone in the magazine went their separate ways but I still continue to collaborate with the people I have met through these experiences on my blog.”
Rosario said, “Style in general has always been a part of me. My dad really emphasizes the importance of always looking posh and put together. I grew up in my father’s closet, which was embellished, in silk ties, ferragamo shoes and LV belts. He was a patron to fashion, which is probably why I have a great appreciation for menswear.”
Her father’s wise style advice has influenced her immensely. “Being a personal stylist, specifically in menswear, would be a dream come true for me,” she said. “A more realistic dream for me would be as a social media director for a magazine. Either way, I love all the fields.”
In addition to Rosario’s father, her fashion inspiration comes from “K-pop idols.” She explained, “I do not know who styles BTS [Bangtan Boys] for their award shows, but I need to have their stylist over for tea, or their creative director. Gosh, their ‘Blood, Sweat, and Tears’ music video was jaw-dropping.”
With style icons like Park Jimin and G-Dragon, Rosario said, “My style varies. In man-repeller.com, I read an article how most people have a ‘uniformed’ way of dressing but honestly, I’ve worn the most whimsical pieces with the most monochromic outfit. Just like Jersey weather, you just never know.”
Rosario believes her style plays a huge role in describing who she is.
“I can be very unpredictable,” she explained. “Today, I can be the girl who is down to earth, laid-back, and wants to drink coffee with some good company, but tomorrow I can throw on a fur coat and throw on my stepmom’s Louboutins and proceed to order something at a five-star restaurant that I may or may not be able to afford. It just depends on who I want to be that morning I wake up.”
As for her fashion advice for Montclair State students, Rosario said, “My heart aches for those who do not dress comfortably, so please, leave the six-inch heels at home next to your ball gown.”