Hometown: Yorba Linda, CA
Ethnicity: Sicilian, Mexican, and Welsh
Favorite Quote: “We are not left to our fate without the ability to affect the outcome.”
LRG: What advice do you have to become a successful full-time model in such a competitive environment?
Mercedes: I think I’ve had success because I keep a professional attitude about it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been lucky. A lot of it has to do with being in the right place at the right time and meeting the right people, But after you meet those people you have to make an impression that’s not negative. It’s got to be professional. Give them a reason to want to see you again. Then they put you in magazines and hire you to do stuff you shouldn’t be getting paid for because it’s so fun and easy.
LRG: Instead of sayin’ “Better ask somebody” where have we seen you before?
Mercedes: I’ve been in a lot of magazines and I hope there are a lot more magazines to come. I’ve pretty much been in every car-type magazine out there. I feel like I’ve covered that industry pretty well. Lately, I’ve also been doing Supercross for the last couple of years and now I’m taking on the MMA world.
LRG: Does your success have anything to do with your look that’s hard to pin down?
Mercedes: The ethnicity people think I am depends on what side of the country I am. If I’m on the West Coast, they think I’m Mexican. If I’m the East Coast they think I’m Italian. In Middle America they think I’m Japanese because they have never seen a Mexican or an Italian. [Laughs]. I’ve also gotten Middle Eastern and half black. I guess you could say my universal look has helped.
LRG: What’s the best way to approach you at work or anywhere for that matter?
Mercedes: Basically come up to me and don’t use a cheesy line. Say ‘hi’. Compliments are always are always nice. You’re not going to be an asshole to someone who says, ‘You look really pretty.’ as long as you’re not raunchy or rude about it. Walking up to a girl and saying, ‘Hey, I think you’re really beautiful.’ you’re not going to get a negative response. No one is going to tell you to screw off. They are going to say thank you. Maybe they are not necessarily interested in you, but at least they aren’t trying to get away from you. If I want to talk to a guy, I’ll put myself in a situation where I can.
LRG: When does the magic in the sheets happen? Date 2.5? 3? 4?
Mercedes: That just depends on the person. For me, you can call me a prude but I preach to all my girls they need to wait longer. The reason they don’t get what they want out of a relationship is they are too easy. I’m definitely not that person. I’m kind of old-fashioned. I’m not waiting until I get married, but it takes a lot of effort and time.
LRG: What’s the strangest thing a guy has said to you?
Mercedes: I think when guys come up to you with some cheesy pickup line; they’ve had some kind of success with it before. The weirdest thing some guy has ever said to me is when I was at a poster signing and a young kid said ‘I [pleasured] myself to your poster.’ I was like ‘Where’s your mother? Don’t touch me with your sticky hands.’
LRG: So are you a kinky girl once it happens?
Mercedes: Yes. But I don’t like openly kinky men. I need someone who is a total gentleman on the outside but might be all together different behind closed doors. I like guys with a good sense of humor and guys who have some balance in their life. You have to be able to be trustworthy and trusting. You can’t be too controlling. I like a man to be a man, but I have a job where I’m gone at least four days of the week, and you have to be able to let me go.
LRG: So do you like fast guys and fast cars, or slow riding?
Mercedes: Actually my first car was a Mustang GT. It was black on black on black on airbags. I thought I was the sh*t back then. My dad thought it was crazy, but he doesn’t have boys so he was all about it. So I have a little bit of history with Lowriders.
LRG: What’s you’re favorite Lowrider?
Mercedes: I shot with a ’61 Impala convertible for the cover of Lowrider once. I loved it.