Mercedes Brunelli is a designer of handcrafted one-of-a-kind masterpieces. She creates edgy, elegant, powerful and classy pieces for women looking to make a statement. Her unique talents caught the eyes of the daytime Emmy's, the Oscar's, the Golden Globe's and the Grammy's. Now her designs are in the hands of numerous celebrities, actors and artists.
24FASHION.TV: When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career as a fashion designer?
Mercedes Brunelli: I had a love for fashion and art from a very young age, I was constantly creating. Growing up I remember going to second hand stores picking out the most crazy and unique pieces they had and taking them apart to create my own designs.
How did you start?
So many ways! I went to school for fashion design thinking that was the most logical way to pursue a career in fashion. Like most, I wanted to create beautiful and extravagant couture Runway pieces. Quickly learning that does not pay the bills when graduating in 2012, and could not find work in the field (was told I was too creative). Took a job as a fine jewelry sales associate to later being asked if I would be interested in creating a handbag line for the store, and boom that evolved into the Mercedes Brunelli brand.
Mercedes Brunelli and American singer Dolly Parton holding a customized for her clutch "Butterfly"
Where do you usually find creative inspiration?
I love unique and out of the box! I like to push boundaries and create the unusual. Anything that seems quirky and unusual always grabs my attention.
What made you specifically chose designing unique clutches and belts?
I just fell into place. If you were to tell me ten years ago this is what I was going to be doing, I probably wouldn't believe it. But it is exactly what I love doing, creating one of a kind wearable art pieces.
A unique clutch piece from Mercedes Brunelli collection "Outre"
Are you planning to expand beyond those two?
Yes, always looking to expand and grow as an artist and designer. Wearable art has no limits with this girl.
How is working in fashion different today than from when you started out?
It's a cut-throat industry. I think now more than ever you have to be extremely creative and willing to adapt and evolve to make it today.
American actress Taraji P. Henson holding Mercedes Brunelli "Signature" Lion Head clutch
What role do you think social media plays in fashion today?
Huge role, influencers have taken over. Everything is so accessible the world is connected at our fingertips.
How was your brand affected by the Covid-19 lockdown?
A lot of my business like many others thrives on events, with in person attendances being limited or nonexistent at this point has made it extremely challenging. Having to get really creative with connecting and bring my brand to my clients.
Did you have to adjust your collection and make some changes to it because of Covid-19?
I actually took some time (6-7 months to reflect and go inward) to evaluate and recreate. A completely new collection came from quarantine that will be launching for the holiday season.
Artistic cover for Mercedes Brunelli latest clutch collection
What is your favorite part about being a designer?
I consider myself to be an artist first. I just absolutely love creating and being able to bring my visions to life.
How do you want women to feel when carrying your clutches?
Empowered, beautiful, seen, as they themselves are the work of art.
Can you shortly describe your brand?
Handmade works of Art. My slogan is Clutch the Unusual, Carry a Masterpiece! Unique one of a kind statement pieces.
What comes next for Mercedes Brunelli?
The sky is the limit, wherever my creative journey takes me.
For the holidays I'm currently working on creating beautiful glittering canvases for a private Art showcase. As well as always expanding and creating more wearable art.
By Galina Antonova,
Editor-in-Chief, 24Fashion TV