Mercedes Yvette- Model, Actor, Host, Artist
In 2004 I was chosen out of 12,000 contestants to be on Season 2 of America’s Next Top Model (ANTM.) Although I didn’t win, I was the first runner-up. The experience was life changing!
I was diagnosed with Lupus in 2004 and revealed this during my time on ANTM. As a result, I was asked to be the spokeswoman for The Lupus Foundation of America (LFA). From 2005-2013, I worked with the LFA to raise funds for research and spread awareness about the disease.
Since 2004, I have been working as a print, runway, fit model, e-commerce and catalog model. As well as a commercial and television actor. Some of my work includes Teen Vogue magazine; the cover of Wedding Dresses magazine, Haute Look e-commerce, Aviation Gin commercial, Old Navy commercial, California Tourism commercial, and Chilli’s commercial. Not to mention I have been fortunate enough to guest star on TV shows for Bold and the Beautiful, VH1 Behind the TV, One on One and All of Us to name a few.
My friend and fellow model, Danielle Yu, became business partners and started a jewelry line called the Gilded Fox in 2013. The jewelry was inspired by our love of travel, art and the allure of past decades. We sold jewelry online and to boutiques in Los Angeles. Danielle and I designed and made all of the jewelry. It truly was a labor of love. We created one of a kind jewelry and collaborated on new ideas. In 2019, both of us decided to move on to other ventures, so we closed our business.
In 2020, I decided to start a new venture with my friend and ANTM alum, April Wilkner, called Throwback Thursday Time. More details follow at the end of this bio.
The biggest obstacles/challenges in my life have forced me in a new direction of self-exploration. Through these obstacles, I have reinvented my career, made new friends, found freedom of expression through art and jewelry, advocated for awareness of Lupus in all communities and continue to evolve through these experiences.
Throwback Thursday Time is an IGTV & YouTube series co-hosted by April Wilkner and I. We met when we were on America’s Next Top Model and ultimately became friends. Throwback Thursday Time is a unique show that reminisces about the early 2000s in a game-centric way that follows the evolution of unique individuals in the entertainment industry through their life experiences.
I hope that by sharing our guests’ candid conversations in this virtual space, we will elevate and inspire our audience’s state of being. Our goal is to bring all of us closer, especially at this time during Covid-19, and to foster understanding of the Black Lives Matter Movement. We hope all of us will do our part to be here for one another and celebrate the accomplishments of those we admire within our community.
My favorite quote from Alice Hoffman says, “Here’s the thing about luck; you don’t know if it’s good or bad until you have some perspective.” I will leave it at that.