On loving fashion and its flaws
Growing up in New York City, Mercado loved fashion "without knowing it was a thing." As she got older, her passion deepened and she enrolled New York's Fashion Institute of Technology.
"I didn't see myself working anywhere else other than fashion," she said. "At first, all I thought about were the positives of fashion. I didn't see the negative parts, and there are a lot. I came to realize I didn't see myself out there, and that's so wrong. I would bring it up with friends and say, 'How could this be? How can you love something so much when it's so flawed in so many different ways?'"