T: 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 (http://www.c‑proof.org/malidoma/) figure out how to build our own enterprise. I run a personal style blog http://herconsciousstyle.com, and my friend Sasha and I have an online vintage store http://heryesterday.com.
What is your style philosophy?
T: 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?
T: 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?
T: 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?
T: 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?
T: 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?
T: 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?
T: 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?
T: 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.
T: 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.