By James Yeary
“The first part of my life that I know about was living in my grandparent’s basement for the first two weeks after I was born, while my family waited for my current house to be done being built.” said Rozman, a sophomore journalism major at Hofstra.
Rozman was born in Jamison, Pennsylvania, and grew up speaking Russian before switching entirely to English.
“My mother was born in Ireland, and school starts really early there, so she kept pushing for me to start school early and put me in a grade ahead. After that, we lost the language; apparently we had Russian accents, and after a while just spoke English.”
He had started gymnastics by age 7, and continued competing all through high school.
“For 10 years I didn’t do much other than that; I had either school friends or gym friends. In sixth grade I won the state competition and won fourth place in the regent competition, which is several states. I would say that that was the peak, even though that’s a young age for male gymnastics. I still kept up with it after that.”
Through middle school, Rozman began to focus on theater, which led to connecting with his two closest friends through the drama club.
“I was actually too shy to do the school play in seventh grade, and the reason that I went for it in eighth grade was because all of the friends that I had made were in the drama club and were doing it. After that, my mom got me into the local theater, and that was through gymnastics – they just needed someone to do back hand springs.”
Around the time of switching to his second gym and starting to get involved with acting, Rozman was forced to deal with the effects of a concussion sustained during practicing on the parallel bars at the gym.
“I remember swinging down from the bars, and instead of a mat being there, it was basically just plywood. I remember asking to see the video of it – everything in the gym is always recorded by a camera up in the corner so that it’s easy to review our form. I immediately knew, because everything seemed like it was flashing, and I almost fell asleep. I remember them telling me that I couldn’t do that – I still haven’t seen the video.”
After his concussion, Rozman went on to go to the national competition level four out of the five times he was eligible. His last year of nationals, he placed No. 16 on pommel horse.
“I felt like that was a good way to end, but I still go back. In my free time I started getting into photography from the app Instagram. I still love photography and film to this day. Photography definitely led me to fashion, and even though I’m a journalism student, I don’t think about that too much because I really want to make clothes. The goal is to have people want what my brain has to offer. Artists’ thoughts are wanted through what they put on a canvas, or whatever your medium is; fashion is literally wearing someone’s work.”
I’ve known Rozman since last year, and I can vouch for the fact that he is always wearing something unique that stands out. When I interviewed him, he was wearing a red sweater that he had cut to fit more like a T-shirt, and also had a zipper and his own label added.
“Fashion is a pain, because it can be so expensive to make; it can be a billion different things to worry about. I could’ve gone to a fashion school, but I believe in learning a trade that can allow me to move into the whole world of the industry – maybe by writing about it first.”
I’ve always respected the vision that Rozman has over his future – he is unafraid to pursue what he wants, and unafraid of being sidetracked into anything but the area that he strives for. The fashion industry is something that I personally know next to nothing about, and he has always explained it in the best terms and exuded confidence in the idea of the future that most people cannot bring themselves to. I believe that this kind of attitude towards the unknown is exactly what leads to success, and is rare when it comes to people our age. I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up waiting in line for Rozman’s clothing line someday.