Nothing makes me more giddy (yes, I said giddy) than meeting new people and making new friends. I had the pleasure of meeting Michelle Almonor, a student at the University of South Florida, at the recent ‘Metamorphosis’ fashion show hosted by The Fashion Executives. Almonor is the president of TFE, an organization at USF, that focuses on assisting emerging designers and boutiques in the Tampa Bay area with events and branding. When she’s not planning TFE events, serving on the executive board of Alpha Kappa Psi, a co-ed professional business fraternity, and nailing down covetable internship opportunities, Almonor is investing her heart and soul in her fashion blog, Fashilluminous.
How does a usual day start off for you?
Michelle Almonor: For me, it’s choosing my outfits for the day. Sometimes I have to definitely choose them the night before because if I try to think about it in the morning it’ll just be too chaotic with too many clothes on the bed. I don’t know why I obsess over it. Even if I am just coming to school, I still sometimes obsess about what I am wearing.
How did you get involved in fashion?
MA: Since I was young I wanted to be either Michael Jackson or a fashion designer. Although I don’t want to get into design, even from a young age I was really interested in fashion. My mom, she’s from Haiti, and back in Haiti she studied fashion so maybe it’s like meant to be. I took fashion classes in high school, so I do have sewing skills and I’ve made a few outfits but it came time for me to pick which college I wanted to attend and what I wanted to do. So I decided I’ll major in marketing and get my feet wet with fashion outside of school. And here I am.
What’s in the future for The Fashion Executives?
MA: I just confirmed that The Fashion Executives will be helping out with the Tom Joyner Morning Show. They reached out to us and they liked our pictures and saw [Metamorphosis] and they want to get more information about partnerships and we are going to be helping them out a lot in 2015.
They want you to collaborate on certain projects?
MA: Yes, on fashion related things. They have different segments everyday of the week and different things going on. They haven’t focused too much on fashion and they want to broaden out and focus on fashion as well.
You’ve said you used to be shy. What would you tell people who are hesitant about making that next step or they are doubting themselves? How would you advise them?
MA: As cliché as it sounds, just go out and do it. My philosophy is if something doesn’t happen or if it doesn’t work out it is because it wasn’t supposed to be. And that just means there is a bigger and better opportunity behind another closed door.
Tell me a little bit about Fashilluminous?
MA: I started my blog in February, so it is fairly new. I was kind of documenting my fashion journey and I didn’t want to share it with anyone. It would just be for me and in like two years I could look back at my first post and say, ‘OMG what was I wearing’. After talking to so many people who told me to just do it, just put it out there, that I could help so many other people as well I decided why not. I got my boyfriend to take the pictures for me and I focus on fashion, styling and beauty and different events. I just added travel! It’s kind of like a lifestyle, personal, travel blog now.
What’s your favorite fashion item that you can’t live without?
MA: Can I give two? One of my favorites is the American Apparel Riding Pants. Although it was a pretty penny, I feel like it was a great investment. My boyfriend actually got me one for my birthday so now I have two. So yay! I have black and I have khaki. I love the shape, the detailing, it is just perfect. My second favorite fashion item is my knee-high socks. I love, I LOVE long socks. I don’t know what it is about my obsession but I have them in burgundy, black, grey, so I love them. I like to pair them with shorts or a cute dress.
Who is your favorite designer?
MA: Alexander Wang. I love his details. The pieces he creates have different patterns, cuts and textures and I just love how he tailors his outfits and they are still trendy and ready-to-wear. I also love LaQuan Smith. He makes outfits for celebrities. His clothes are just funky and cute and his eye for detail is just perfect.
Who inspires you?
MA: My mom. She is strong and gets her stuff done. She inspires me to just continue to be a better person and to remember where I came from and stay true to myself.
All images are courtesy of Fashilluminous.