Reflekt Muse: Jillian Mercado

 Jillian mercado also known as Jilly Peppa, is a popular fashion star in the Tumblr community as well as a fixture in the New York fashion scene. Lending her sartorial skills for fashion magazines such as PMC, WetheUrban, and her own fashion website, Manufactured 1987, Jillian has overcome adversity with a stylish flair. Losing her ability to walk at 3 years old, she didn’t let anything stop her from dreams of fashion in the Big Apple. Read her style story from Issue º6, which is available in our webshop

Tell me your life story

My life story consists of me growing up with two younger sisters two parents and two dogs. I was born in New York City on the upper West side and graduated from fashion Institute of technology. I have interned with a jewelry designer and two magazines and currently am the creative assistant for PMC Magazine, executive editorial assistant at WeTheUrban and contributing writer at Beautylish.


Personal styling trick?

If I were to pick a personal styling trick for others to know would be to mix and match old and new outfits, I always love having expensive outfits with extremely cheap outfits and I think it makes them unique. 


How do you think people react to your style?

It's pretty funny to see people react to what I'm wearing on a certain day because since I'm in a wheelchair there has been a notion that people with disabilities can't dress-up or have a sense of style like it's a sin to look beautiful or feel beautiful. I although don't let that affect me and my lifestyle. So when I for example go to fashion week and as I'm going to fashion shows along the way of going to Lincoln Center people either smile or have interesting looking faces because I am dressed up, it's pretty fascinating to see how people reactions are towards me when I go anywhere. 

  Photo: Danny Roche

Photo: Danny Roche

What are your hobbies?

I have a lot of hobbies I first of all love going to the theater to watch movies I feel the sense of escapism when I go see movie at the theater it kind of helps me forget about life's little bumps for 1 to 2 hours. I also love shopping I usually go shopping by myself though because I find it very meditating going through clothes and spending as much time as I can on picking on what I want to buy. Traveling is a hobby I wish I had because I love meeting new people I love traveling to new places and discovering hidden little restaurants and hidden little museums, hopefully in the future I can add this to my hobbies list. 


Do you consider yourself fashionable?

This is a little tricky to answer because my definition of fashionable can mean something to someone else I usually dress how I feel like dressing I don't really go by trend or go by what's fashionable at the time I dress how I feel like and it's my style I don't really follow trends. Although if you wanted a yes or no answer I would definitely say yes because I do consider myself fashionable.

Do you dress for yourself or others?

I found it disturbing at times when people dress up for other people because it makes me think that they don't have a say in it. I do dress for myself because I'm the one that's going to be wearing it. If people stopped dressing for other people the world would be less black-and-white in the little more colorful.

What fascinates you?

Someone actually asked me this question once before and my answer has always been people, people fascinate me all the time. This is one of the main reasons I am very sociable because I love talking to people and getting to know them; knowing about there past, what they see in the future for themselves, and stories about there childhood. We are all unique someway or another either with clothes, makeup, personality or their career choices. Sitting at a coffee shop window drinking tea (not a coffee person) and people watching is something else i love to do .


Do you feel your personal style reflects who you are?

I mean, I wouldn't judge a book by it's cover but yes I personally style myself to how I am. It's not what I think about when styling, I like to wear outfits according to where I'm going. for example, during fashion week, when i go to shows I like to pick an outfit that matches the invitation or the designers style. I feel like they will appreciate the effort and they'll know that you came because you love their collection, not if a photographer will take your photo or who your siting next to. 


What are your current projects?

I'm so blessed to say that I got quite a few projects in the works right now, 2013 will be amazing to me. I recently joined Beautylish as Contributing Writer in which I write about makeup trends and beauty. Also joined WeTheUrban Magazine as Executive Editorial Assistant which has been a beautiful experience, I love working with people who have the same thrive i have for fashion so it's beyond beautiful working with them. I am still Creative Assistant at Patrick McMullan's PMc Magazine which will always have my heart because its the longest i have worked anywhere and because the team is amazing. Can't leave my own website; Manufactured1987. So as you can see I love keeping myself busy, you can say I'm a workaholic but for now I'm okay with that. I'm happy with my life which is what it all comes down to really.

 Any last words?

My last words would be never ever change who you are for someone else only to do for yourself and if it will make you happier but creating a false image is probably the worst thing you can do for yourself.

Follow Jillian's adventures and her spreading diversity in the fashion industry here: @jilly_peppa