FRIENDS OF THE BRAND | MEKDES MERSHA
QUEENS, NY | Clinical Research Coordinator | @MEKDESMERSHA
I'm just gonna say what everyone else is thinking... dammmnnnn she's beautiful, but it's more to just this pretty face. Meet Mekdes, part-time model, full-time active runner, and all around great person. She is probably the most genuine, intelligent and sweetest person we ever met. We first met her on a group trip to Joshua Tree, and during our first encounter, we immediately clicked. Whenever we're around her, there is a sense of calmness and positivity. Check out her feature for the Friends of the Brand series and see how she styles one of her favorite pieces three different ways.
What is your favorite thing about William Okpo?
My favorite piece is the man face mesh tee because it’s iconic. It’s the first piece I saw of W.O. and there’s nothing else like it. I love the boldness of the the design and it represents the ‘cool girl’ we all aspire to be.
What was the best phase in your life?
My 23rd and 24th years of life was the best phase of my life. I ended some really unhealthy relationships that were holding me back from developing one with myself. I became single for the first time in my adult life, made deep and genuine friendships with other women of color, took a flight to NYC with my best friend on a whim and met the love of my life. I turned 24 and quit a job where I was miserable ,became the brokest I’ve ever been, all of my insecurities bubbled to the surface for the first time and went to church for the first time. It was the most change I’ve ever experienced and really shaped me into who I am now.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given and who was it from?
To seek a relationship with God and trust in Him for answers. I wish I could remember her name, I had only met her once, but something about that piece of advice struck a chord with me. It affirmed all of the decisions I had been going back and forth on. That ultimately led to all of the things described above as the best phase of my life. I wish I could find her and thank her!
What is your beauty secret?
Sleep, happiness, and Glossier facemasks :) As I’ve gotten older I realized that to be the best version of myself I need at least 7 hours of sleep. I fill my days with the people I love doing the things I love the most. To supplement all of those things I facemask every 2-3 days.
Talk to us about your interest in fitness and how do you incorporate it into your lifestyle?
My interest in fitness piqued once I moved to NYC. Before moving here, fitness was more a means to an end – something I did to fit into the dress or punishment for all the croissants I’d eaten in the week. Here it’s easier to incorporate into a lifestyle. I moved here looking for community and friendship and found all of those things in the running community. I found my local run club on meetup.com and attend lots of free fitness classes with my girlfriends.
Tell us about your journey to modeling? How’s that going for you?
It started off in Seattle; I was approached by an agency in the mall (cliche, I know). I signed with them at 22 thinking my whole life would change, when I finished, they told me I needed to lose 2 inches off my waist. I tried my hardest to do that and instead ended up developing a highly unhealthy relationship with food/exercise. Once I started dating my boyfriend (a photographer) and began to meet some of his creative friends I got some amazing opportunities to shoot more. That snowballed into where I am now, I’ve been able to freelance part time and get to work with some cool brands. I have a full-time job and career so I’m in a place now where I can shoot a few times a month when I want to and with who I want to, to break up the seriousness of my job.
Describe the next five years of your life, and your plans?
I don’t really believe in putting too much effort into mapping out my future. I know the future isn’t fully up to me so I do my best to do good work in the immediate future that will hopefully set me up to be successful later in life. I see myself getting married, starting a family and buying a home but I try not to sweat the plans I just know it will happen :)