BGLH Style: Mercedes in California


Introduce yourself!
My name is Mercedes Torrey. I live in San Francisco, California. I am doing some part-time nanny work while me and my collective, Malidoma ( figure out how to build our own enterprise. I run a personal style blog, and my friend Sasha and I have an online vintage store

What is your style philosophy?
My style philosophy is to wear whatever makes you feel like you. I think too often people want to look, or be like someone else. I understand looking to others for inspiration, but I think it is equally important to know who you are and figure out how to communicate that through your style.

How would you describe your sense of style?
My sense of style is based on my interest and desires. I take ideas from what’s trendy, but I never want to look like I was cut out of a magazine. I always throw in some kind of personal twists. For instance I love my people so I always wear at least one thing that I feel will showcase that. Also I am big on improvising when it comes to style. If I can’t afford something, or can’t find something I envision, then I will make it myself.


What is the process of deciding what to wear in the morning?
Sometimes I dream about what to wear which makes it really easy, otherwise it depends on how I feel or what I’m going to be doing. I’m not afraid to be bold and different or just simple and plain.

What are the three favorite things in your closet?
I’ve never thought about that before. I buy and sell clothes so often depending on my mood, and I think each piece can be just as special if paired with the right things. The pieces I wear most often are my black leather jacket from H&M, my thrifted black high-waist skinny jeans and a white scoop neck t-shirt from Zara. I’d say those are the fundamentals to any wardrobe, though I add some of my personal twists that I spoke about to make them more me.

What are some of your favorite shops/websites for clothes, shoes and accessories?
I mostly thrift and my favorite places here in San Francisco are Wasteland and Painted Bird. Also I love shopping at flea markets and festivals here in the bay area, but I will shop anywhere. I love finding hidden gems in places you wouldn’t expect.

How long have you been natural?
I shaved my hair off for the first time in fall of 2008 and I have been natural ever since.

How and why did you transition into natural hair?
The day after I finished reading the autobiography of Assata Shakur I went to my friend’s house and told her to shave all of my hair off. I was starting to come into my own, and learn about my people. When I finished the book I knew that I had to let go of the dependence I had on the mask that was my permed hair and embrace my natural self 100%.

What is your signature hairstyle?
At the present time I only have one hairstyle, a buzz cut. Lol, though I do enjoy wearing heap wraps from time to time if that counts as a style.

Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month.
I’ve gone through a few styles since being natural. I had an afro for over two years then I had locs for a little over a year and a half until cutting them off last year. I currently have a buzz cut, so not much styling goes into it. I co-wash my hair once a week with Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner and put coconut oil in it every few days.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
Yes my Blog, Tumblr and Instagram

lady in the place : feb 2013
malidoma group shot (2)
mercedes shot by africano fotografia