A Day In The Life of Instagram Star Michelle Rose
This feature is in the March/April Next Wave Issue. Click here to subscribe.
When Michelle Rose (@realstylista) migrated from Guyana to Brooklyn, N.Y., at the age of 16, it was more than a new beginning—it was the ideal haven for someone who had been obsessed with style and fashion since childhood. As a young teen, she designed her own looks that her grandmother would sew, but now every item and ensemble she could imagine was on display right outside her door. “I went to high school in the city, so I took all my food money and would go to all the city markets and all the vintage stores in the West Village,” she says. “I collected thousands of pieces.” Rose, known to her Instagram devotees as @ realstylista, has accumulated an extensive collection that includes choice picks from the ’50s, ’60s and ’80s and features such iconic labels as Chanel, Pucci, Saint Laurent and Gucci. Rose says that she’d love nothing more than to loan her classic pieces to a museum for a fashion retrospective and to continue to nurture platforms that let her share her personal take on style. “I like to show that I’m a woman of a certain age, but I don’t think that should dictate anything,” she explains. “I do think that what you want is to be timeless and classic, with an edge—with something different, something unique.”
Rose wearing her “favorite vintage Chanel suit” while frolicking in Manhattan. PHOTO BY PHILIP J. KELLY
5AM: This underlying love of fashion drives everything else in my life, so I wake up and for two hours before I go to work, I go check my online auctions for that day. I want to bid on anything I really want to buy, and I basically buy something every day, crazy as it sounds, even if it’s a $10 dress. I also pick my look for the day, depending on my mood. Today I’m wearing a vintage dress I recently bought in Rome with Manolo Blahnik boots and a tiny Gucci purse.
10:30AM: By midmorning, I’m out browsing my favorite vintage stores or my two favorite flea markets—Brooklyn Flea and Grand Bazaar NYC on the Upper West Side. After all, the early bird…
Rose poses outside Manhattan’s The Mark Hotel sporting a Valentino dress and Hermès bag PHOTO BY PHILIP J. KELLY
Noon: Every now and then, I do a long, leisurely walk along Fifth Avenue or down in Soho that yields department store finds. Plus, in my travels, I usually scout cool spots to shoot (for Instagram). If I’m in or near Bergdorf Goodman, I love having lunch here and then browsing the store for an hour afterward.
3:30PM: After lunch, I can generally be found cataloging my vintage collection, which is a huge ongoing project and includes accessories like tons of Hermès scarves and bags, classic Chanel bags and my favorite of them all, a huge Chanel cuff . I’m organizing by decade as well as by designer. My favorite era is more ‘60s and ‘70s—bell-bottoms, vintage pantsuits and that kind of look. It’s been a five-year love affair so far with many ups and downs and a few resets.
Rose showcasing her go-to vintage Hermès bag and Saint Laurent boots PHOTO BY PHILIP J. KELLY
5PM: I do shoots and create content for my Instagram page and network with other creators and brands. I also promote my social media posts on Instagram. I basically spend a good five hours straight on fashion and end up going to bed very late at night.