They say art is a form of expression. Can fashion be considered a form of art? For Maria Jose Moreno, fashion has been the most valuable form of art. It allows her to express herself every day. Fashion has allowed Majo to unfold herself into the person she has become three years into college. I knew her back in high school, and I can testify she is another person today.
Talking to Majo three years ago, you could sense her quietness: a lovely person, but short on her thoughts. Figuring out her personality seemed far-fetched and only a handful of people got to see her full potential.
It would seem like fashion has given her a voice. “Maria Jose has definitely grown out of her shell since we graduated. Every break I see her, she surprises me in an amazing way,” says high school best friend Natalia Melara.
Although Majo knew she had a passion for fashion before coming to Mercyhurst, she had several doubts about pursuing it as a career because of the feedback she got from people. The most common one being that she was never going to find a good job in the industry because it was so competitive.
In spite of all the reservations she had for taking this path, she knew following her passion would make her happy. “Once I got to Mercyhurst and got a taste of the fashion program, I knew I was home. I did end up double majoring with marketing and I couldn’t be happier,” she says.
Majo’s happiness has to do with her growth as a person. College and this career choice has made her find herself and develop her personality by conveying her style to others. Small risks in her wardrobe have made her take big risks in her life.
In high school, Majo wore a uniform for four years, and finally being able to wear something else was a big breakthrough. “It was amazing how confident I was once I got to college,” she says. “Dressing up every day almost forced me into taking some more risks, which was definitely a huge boost for my confidence. I feel like if you’re wearing the right outfit you can conquer anything.”
And so she has. Majo has visions for her own blog now, is getting straight A’s in all of her classes, and has an amazing group of friends who look up to her and her achievements, all of which were just a distant vision for her three years ago.
Not only does she notice a big change in her life, her roommate since freshman year, Paola Bueso, also thinks Majo has evolved. “You could see how Majo started to develop a wonderful personality, and she definitely portrayed it through her outfits! It’s like she was trying to show everyone who she was. These past years have been amazing for her and I see nothing but bright things in her future.”
Being the fearless fashionista that she is, Majo helps her roommates with styling tips that she knows are appropriate to their personalities. Lucky them! This is the goal for Majo in the future, to have a say in what a retailer buys for their clients. Undoubtedly she’ll do great, knowing she has a strong sense of what she likes.
In the meantime, you can find Maria Jose strutting around campus. No doubt she is going to have a smile on her face and of course, the perfect outfit. After all, she is a beautiful work of art.