Interview with Mercedes Gallego Ruiz, former designer at Massimo Dutti and Loewe

Leather bags made in Spain Mercules is a leather goods, accessories and lifestyle brand.

Each product is carefully handmade in Spain, profiting from the luxury of local craftsmanship. Founded in 2010 by Mercedes Gallego Ruiz, the former designer at Massimo Dutti and Loewe. The brand is distributed worldwide. We met Mercedes last September during the Who’s Next trade-show.Can you please introduce your brand and how it was created?

I used to work for big companies, but they were too big and involved in mass production. I missed the “keep it simple” and slow fashion. I decided to find craftsmen in Spain and launched the brand in 2010, it was born from a genuine need. My experience working for big companies taught me a lot, at Loewe I learned how to make high quality bags with handcrafted dimensions and with Inditex I learned about suppliers and customer needs, it was all very fast paced.How would you define your brand in 3 words?ClassicalTwistedWildWhat are your sources of inspiration?I design what I want to wear. I’m inspired by the things I like: music, movies, exhibitions, landscapes and their colours. I really like earthy colors.What is your signature piece?Our best seller is the « Dixie » bag, it always sells out! It’s the one with all the stars on it.MerculesWhat advice would you give to people who want to launch into the world of design with their brand and want to take part in Who’s Next to gain visibility?BE PATIENT!If you believe in your brand and don’t lose your focus, it will last. If you don’t sell a lot one season you have to keep going, persist and be patient.How not to go unnoticed today?If you believe in your brand and are excited about it then it will stand out, you have to fight for it! That’s what we do, we work non-stop everyday and release new things every month. We diversify our collections.Tell us about your experience at Who’s Next.This was our first time at Who’s Next with my very first collection. We met with lots of clients, particularly Japanese clients. After my first edition I had received orders for 1000 bags, which is a lot for a small brand.Do you have a memory or anecdote from Who’s Next ?I made friends with lots of other brands.What are your upcoming projects ?We have a lot of things on the go: expanding the shoes collection, adding ready-to-wear, developing homeware and continuing with our collaborations.