Jenny Lopez Goes from Blogger to Designer
by arielle castillo
Model and blogger Jenny Lopez takes inspiration from Navajo, Hindu, and Colombian indigenous cultures.
It almost became a game for stylists and photographers working for the clothing brand Free People: What would their model Jenny Lopez show up looking like and wearing next? The Miami-based Colombian stunner somehow managed to out-bohemian even this eclectic, bohemian fashion line.
“Every week, I was coming with something new,” Lopez recalls, “or some trick about beauty, or natural ways to get something fixed.” That might mean a discovery about organic food or an accessory from a far-flung street market in India. Magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire were showcasing and documenting her face and style; friends at Free People suggested she start a blog to document what she was feeling. So she did.
Thus the bilingual lopezjennylopez.com was born. It quickly blossomed into something richer than the usual what-I-wore-today rundown. As the face of campaigns for brands from Garnier to Talbots, Lopez ran through passport pages like tissues. The blog became part travelogue, part diary, and part lookbook, with Lopez’s chic yet easygoing, globally influenced style brimming from its entries and colorful photos.
While most fashion blogs religiously chase micro-trends, Lopez’s derives organically from her life and influences, as well as the gorgeous places she visits—the most recent being Colombia and Italy. Pieces by designers such as Isabel Marant and Alexander Wang wind up alongside handbags from London’s Portobello Market or accessories by artisans from her native Medellin. She often tops it all off with a healthy dose of vintage. A hit on her blog or a “like” by one of her 26,000 followers on Facebook is about as authentic as it gets.
“I always mix and match, and I like to do high and low,” she says. “I find it special to go shopping at vintage places because I know nobody else will have what I find.”
This same multicultural, upcycling spirit informs her latest venture, a jewelry line collaboration with her sister, Irma, called Momposina Rocks. The idea first came eight years ago when Lopez, while planning her wedding, couldn’t find earrings to match her vision. She drew up a sketch to be made into full-blown pieces by a Colombian artist, and when compliments rolled in, she and her sister decided to take the idea further.
Now they’ve created their first, full-scale collection, available this month through their website momposinarocks.com, as well as at select retail outlets such as Oxygene at the Bal Harbour Shops. Dubbed Gypsy Dreams, it’s a limited-edition run of 40 pieces, all bearing origins as peripatetic and bold as the collection’s namesake.
The unexpected juxtaposition of colors and connotations comes from “memories of summer trips and the influence of cultures like Navajo, Hindu, and the Colombian indigenous communities,” Lopez explains. In her personal favorite piece, the Oracle bracelet, Bali glass beads rub up against matte rhinestones and a neon-yellow flower charm.
“You know how some days you don’t really feel like picking what to wear?” she asks. “When I go out like that, I think to myself, Wow, if I dressed like this every day, I’d be depressed!” Here’s to Lopez’s style as an antidepressant.
Cover shoot: Behind the scenes with Pitbull for the October 2014 issue of Ocean Drive magazine.