Posted on December 30, 2018
Finding Light in a World of Darkness
Words / Rose Paulino | Photography / Alexsa Tolentino
"My mother abandoned me and I was left to be raised by an alcoholic who would physically abuse me when got drunk...which was often. I bounced from foster home to foster home. I stopped counting after number five, but I was placed in well over that number before I turned sixteen. When I was out of the foster care system, I was homeless at times, spending many scary nights on the streets alone and hungry. The only thing that helped me through were the thoughts of fashion. I loved fashion.
The times I was in foster care, I would flip through magazines laying around. My favorite designer came to be Ralph Lauren. I love his story and how he proved everyone wrong. His boss didn’t take him seriously when he wanted to drop a collection. Today he’s one of the most renowned designers of all time. I like that he took his collection and blossomed. He believed in himself when no one else did.
I attended the High School of Fashion Industries and would stay well into the evening sewing and find someplace in the neighborhood to seek shelter. I didn’t have a place, so I kept some clothes in my locker. No one ever knew what was going on. All they knew was that I was kind, creative, and had a nice sense of fashion.
Every time I was sad, lonely, mad, and angry I would sew. Sewing wasn’t just sewing to me. It was my stitching away of all the pain and darkness. Covering up all the emotional and mental scars with a beautiful garment allowed me to keep going. Fashion designing allowed me to express myself without having to speak or share my story. I’ve always been ashamed of my story and struggle. Today, I embrace it because it made me resilient, confident, and a risk taker. These amazing qualities have made me the designer I am today.
My first collection was inspired by the abandonment I faced during my lifetime. My ex-boyfriend left me high and dry after we moved in together. He left a goodbye letter and the apartment keys. I was in such a dark place and designing was all I could do to create a decoy for the pain. In the end I learned to love myself emotionally, mentally, and physically. Then the second collection is an array of colors and patterns named Spektrum. I grew in so many ways. I learned my self worth and how to put myself first."
Founded by Rose Paulino, her swimwear business has been inspired by her upbringings in the foster care system, believing that anyone can accomplish anything despite life circumstances. We pride ourselves in giving back to the community, with even a special Foster Care collection currently in the works in which a percentage of profit will go towards kids in foster care.
Rose Paulino is swimwear company that believes the perfect swim-suit can change your world and how you feel about your body. As a company we focus on confidence, comfort, and versatility. They cater to women of all shapes and sizes by creating custom pieces tailored to your body. Beauty and confidence comes from within. Pictured is Yazmin Guerrero in their Alexa one piece photographed by Alexa Tolentino.
Although the company was founded on November 2017, in the past year, Rose Paulino Swimwear has accomplished a lot. Let me repeat, in ONE YEAR. We have walked 7 fashion shows, one of them being my biggest success yet: Miami Swim Week, where we were interviewed by New York times and many other bloggers.
In just one year, they have been displayed on big magazines such as:
-House and Garden
-Many other published in the top 12 richest cities in the UK, as well as the upcoming Cosmopolitan and Harper's Bazaar issue for January 2019.
British Vogue, June 2018 Issue
Vanity Fair, August 2018 Issue
What’s next? ROSE PAULINO TAKES ON COACHELLA?!?
As we all know Coachella is one of America's biggest events! Luckily, we have just been invited to display our swimwear during Coachella's fashion show... right next to Givenchy!
"As a former foster kid, there are kids who are watching and I want to prove to them that dreams can be accomplished regardless of the obstacles life throws. One kid called me and told me, "If you give up now, how am I suppose to make it when I graduate next year." Those words touched me in ways that can not be explained. My voice and story are meant to inspire all the foster care kids whose are afraid to be entrepreneurs!"