Style Gurus Chat About Building A Self Brand

One of our favorite things about CollegeFashionista is how it brings together Style Gurus from around the country who would have otherwise never met. They form true friendships, unique bonds and connect on a level that can only be described as inspiring.


In this new series, “Style Gurus Chat,” two Style Gurus from different schools, who have found major #StyleGuruLove through CollegeFashionista, catch-up, share their insights on a topic and, well, chat.

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In this installation, we have two super #RAD Style Gurus—Melany Rodriguez from Rutgers University and Masoma Imasogie from The University of Pennsylvania. They caught up and shared their thoughts on building your career/brand, “Year of You” philosophies and balancing acts with each other (and you, the CollegeFashionista reader)!

Melany Rodriguez: Masoma! The Instagram Queen herself! Hello!

Masoma Imasogie: Oh my god, no way! You are! What’s up?

MR: I really have to start off by saying that I am completely obsessed with your style.

MI: No way, I’m totally inspired by you. Your stuff is amazing.

MR: Thanks love! So I’m currently on your Instagram and I’m dying to know what were these fashion events you’ve worked.

MI: So I worked backstage with production on three different shows and it was totally insane. For example with Project Runway I managed the models and got to work with the designers.

MR: That is so awesome—wow!

MI: Right?! I’m always super versatile where for other shows I’ll work with hair and makeup or lighting.

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MR: So if you had to pick between hair and makeup, working with the designers or production, which would you pick?

MI: I would definitely say working with the designers and models is pretty cool! Now I have model friends who I’m really close to and got to know on a personal level.

MR: How fun! I know a lot of times we tend to forget they’re people, too. Then once you talk to them, you find out you have all these things in common and you become best buds!

MI: Totally! I mean there are times where people come and I really just freeze and don’t say anything. Like this year Kylie Jenner was sitting next to me and I just couldn’t say anything! I totally froze!

MR: That is too funny! Like “there’s nothing I could really say to you Kylie.”

MI: I do see myself growing more throughout the years with these events. I’m actually speaking up and interacting with people more. Definitely not being fearful and owning it!


MR: So you do any of these events and shows ever fall on school days?

MI: I basically always have to organize myself and my time with fashion events and school. It’s a balance act between my academics and my career because schoolwork is very important but at the same time I can’t let opportunities pass me by while I’m in college.

MR: I can definitely relate with that! We’re at the point in our careers where yes we need to study and yes we need to go to class, but at the same time we come across these awesome opportunities where we have to figure out a way to accomplish both.

MI: It’s definitely a negotiation with the two!

MR: Aside from balancing fashion events and school, how do you find inspiration to build your brand while on campus?

MI: I must say it’s a lot of sacrifice. I’ve chosen to not live the typical college life with having all my friends and events on campus, but instead, sacrificing that and building my brand through networking in different cities, states, and countries.

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MR: Totally!

MI: I focus more on the holistic importance of life, because yes college is amazing, but it is only four years out of my entire career.

MR: I know with me, one of the things that I choose to change in my everyday student life is incorporating my fashion and my taste regardless of what my peers are wearing or what is trending.

MI: So to relate to that, I’m currently going through this journey called the “Year of You” where I’m honestly living for me. Not just saying it but actually doing everything for me and enjoying every moment.

MR: Wow! I LOVE that.

MI: Right?! It’s more than just saying cliche Tumblr quotes and less about doing things that may be popular or currently a trend but because you love it.

MR: So how did you start this “Year of You?” Where did it spark?

MI: It was my New Year’s resolution, and once I decided I was fully doing it I immediately booked a flight to L.A., which is my favorite place. This entire year is about me doing things that make me happy and not holding back.

MR: Of course! They don’t call it your selfish 20s for nothing!

MI: That’s my motto! I’m establishing myself as an individual and not waiting on anyone for that push. Just growing up and becoming me!


MR:  I am honestly so inspired right now. I’m going to book the next flight out!

MI: Yes girl! It’s all about go-getting.

MR: I constantly tell myself this is for you and you need to do it. Which you so nicely put in the “Year of You!” I truly loved loved chatting with you and can’t wait to see what’s next in store for you!

MI: It was so nice to finally meet you! Let’s grab coffee and chat some more soon!

MR: Will do! Thank you again Masoma!