Today we’d like to introduce you to Mercedes Cook.
So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My background is in fashion. I have a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design. Immediately after school, I began my film career as a PA in New York City. I worked on various shows from Eastbound and down to Veep but was not getting consistent work.
After a leap of faith, I decided to move to Atlanta where I spent seven years working in costumes. I have done every role in the department and I believe that has equipped me with the skills to be a great leader. I designed my first film for Netflix. It started Anthony Anderson and was a success on their platform. I most recently was the Costume Designer for the show the chi which airs on showtime June 21st, 2020. I am currently designing the show Queen of the South for Fox.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has not been a smooth road, I have sacrificed time with family and missed important moments to be able to be dedicated to becoming a costume designer at the age of 30. I was very determined and focused to make a career as a designer, as I honestly didn’t see many women who looked like me in the role of leadership. I wanted to express my voice from my own unique perspective. I was on unemployment when I moved to Atlanta… I would do alterations and sewing projects for extra money. It was a struggle for sure.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am a Costume Designer. I lead the look of my department and convey a feeling through line, silhouette, texture and color- which connects to the viewer and makes them either love or hate or feel sympathy for the protagonist or villain.. I make clothing speak to the subconscious brain of the viewer to convey a connection. I specialize in bridging the younger generation’s vision of art and expansion to the Hollywood standard. I think my youth sets me apart from contemporary designers the most.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My mentor ERNESTO MARTINEZ made me understand that opportunity isn’t given but earned. He was my number one cheerleader and gave me my entrance into the exclusive world so far removed from the streets of Philadelphia. He gave me my first job and most recently hired me to work under him on Star in Fox. Lee’s Daniels creation with Queen Latifah. I worked under him for two seasons as the assistant designer. We would shoot for nine months – 18 episodes – with as many as seven looks per character in one episode. It was a boot camp that let me know I could do anything I put my mind to. I will forever be grateful.
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: Mercedes_robeta
Lawrence Young Photography – studio photos only; Wendi Oshi Photography