STYLE GURU BIO: Montanna H. Mungal

As a former New Yorker and avid fashion lover, I would describe my personal style as classic feminine-chic with a modern twist, with my muses ranging from Olivia Palermo to Jackie Kennedy Onassis.

I’ve always believed that so much can be said without verbalizing anything at all, using only your exterior. I’ve enforced that using fashion for as long as I can remember. Fashion is a language of its own. Self-expression is a powerful weapon—an attribute belonging only to you that no one can take from you. To say “fashion is my life” is so cliché and lame, but I honestly can’t think of any other way to word it.

Ever since I was 12 years old I knew I wanted nothing else but to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology and pursue my fashion dreams in the biggest and best place for it—New York City. With big dreams and wide eyes, that’s exactly what I did when I was 18. I was accepted to the Fashion Institute of Technology as a fashion merchandising major, and I picked up my life and established myself in the Fashion District of Manhattan, completely alone—no friends, no family, no lifelines. But when you have dreams as big as mine, nothing else matters.

I lived (and struggled) within the hustle and bustle of the city for two years and worked at multiple high-end fashion houses, making for quite an impressive résumé for my age, before I came to the emotional conclusion that this life really wasn’t for me, at least not at this juncture. I ultimately accepted an incredible scholarship at the University of Miami, where I am currently finishing my last year and a half of my Bachelor’s as a PR major.

Although it was a difficult road for me, I don’t regret my two years in Manhattan. I was forced to grow up really, really fast, not only because I lived in the most fast-paced and aggressive city in the nation, but also because I have chosen to expose myself to one of the most challenging and competitive industries out there. I matured far beyond my years during my time there, and I really got to know myself a lot better. I became so much stronger—emotionally, physically, mentally, and I owe all of that to my time in Manhattan.

New York City will always be there, and it will always hold a very special place in my heart. Just because it didn’t work out for me then, doesn’t mean it may not in the future. My New York City flair is recognizable in my daily style and attitude, and that’s something I won’t ever be able to change; it’s become a part of who I am and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I’ve never been okay with settling. Mediocrity has never been a reality for me. I’ve always been the type of person to wholeheartedly dive into any and every project I’m faced with, and I won’t start anything unless I know I can successfully finish it. I’m so excited for my time as a Style Guru, and I hope I can act as an inspiration in some way during my allotted time.

Here’s to a great semester!