ESSENCE Network: This Fashionista is Redefining The Word "Hippie" One Look at a Time

Photo by Gabrielle Lopez
Modern Day Hippie Founder and Creative Director Gabrielle Lopez shares how her style, quirkiness and indivuality led to success. 

What started out as a passion project and creative outlet for vintage fashionista Gabrielle Lopez, quickly turned into the gig of a lifetime. With an knack for putting a modern spin on thrifted pieces the 26-year-old built the ultimate free spirited brand who’s accessories can now be found on Nasty Gal. Here she shares her journey to #GirlBoss and how she transformed her own style, quirkiness and individuality into a booming business.

Name: Gabrielle Lopez, also know as Love G

Age: 26

Title and company: Founder + Creative Director of Modern Day Hippie

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Twitter: @_loveg

Instagram: @_loveg and @shopmoderndayhippie

The gig: I am the Founder and Creative Director of Modern Day Hippie, an e-commerce fashion company specializing in up-cycled and re-designed Vintage clothing.  I also decided to pursue DJing about a year and a half ago. Fashion and music are two areas of my life I am incredibly passionate about. Nothing makes me happier to look at a vintage piece and re-designing it to make it more updated and trendy. The most gratifying part of this entire experience is seeing something I created on young women that fit right into my vision of  a Modern Day Hippie. The feedback has been really positive so far and it makes me feel like I’m on the right path.

The Journey: I have always been passionate about fashion, especially vintage. I absolutely hated shopping in the mall as a kid because I dreaded the idea of showing up to school and wearing the same outfit as someone else. I would beg my mom to take me to the neighborhood thrift stores whenever it was time to go shopping. My very first internship was at Teen Vogue where I worked in the fashion editorial closet with about 10 other girls for an entire summer. It was the craziest experience ever! I learned so much about myself and it was the moment I realized I had to pursue fashion full time and after my friends continued to ask me to find/make them special vintage pieces—Modern Day Hippie was born. 

Goal setting 101: Write everything down. Where do you want to be tomorrow, next week, next month and a year from now? You have to write it all down. Having a vision is important, but you will be stagnant in life without a concrete and extremely detailed plan.  I believe everyone is born with a God-given purpose, but not everyone is brave enough to answer the call. I didn’t want to live every day of my life in a cycle and wake up twenty years from now with nothing to show for it but regret. I had to completely eliminate fear from every aspect of my life and elevate to the higher consciousness that God designed me in. The journey has definitely not been easy, but, even with the challenges that I come across daily, I’m very grateful to wake up everyday and be able to pursue what I love. 

Confessions of a black woman in fashion: Every woman of color in any industry has had the phrase “work twice as hard to get half as far” stamped into their brain. You are expected to work twice as hard to prove yourself amongst peers from other backgrounds. If anything, this has kept me on top of my A-game. I am constantly researching and making myself responsible for being knowledgeable on every aspect of the business—design, manufacturing, marketing, finance. In the fashion industry especially, it can be difficult to navigate being the only person of color in the room. Recently, I created a collective called Goddess Reign (@goddessrgn) with three of my best friends celebrating and encouraging women of color to connect in Los Angeles. It’s so important to have a community to come back to and share these experiences with. A benefit will always be flourishing in #blackgirlmagic. This has been an amazing few years for Black women especially and I’m excited to see more women of color dominating their respective industries.

Her biggest accomplishment: Launching Modern Day Hippie product on Nasty Gal. I have been inspired by the brand for a long time and it was a huge dream come true. 

Balancing 101: Knowing when to ask for help and also when to give your self a break. As an entrepreneur, it’s very easy to convince yourself that you can do it all but, it’s also the quickest road to a full blown burn out. When I first started, I hated to ask people for assistance, but now I see the beauty in it. You have to be gentle enough with yourself to know when you need a moment to just stop and breathe. 

The smartest advice she ever received: My mom always taught me to be confident, never doubt my capabilities, and speak up for myself when I needed to— it has taught me to be very vocal and grounded in myself, especially as a business woman. You have to be extremely comfortable and confident in your skin and voice, especially when you are representing your own brand.

In her downtime: It sounds really hippie of me, but I love to sit in nature and read a really good book. Music has always been therapeutic for me. I don’t watch a lot of TV, but right now I am obsessed with the show Power – I’m hooked!  Meditation and exercising every day is also huge for managing my stress.

Her tech fix: I can’t function without my iPhone 6. I rely heavily on the meditation app Calm and Kiwake for making my early bird morning routine a lot easier.

In her beauty bag: CeraVe face wash and Kiehl’s face moisturizer for clear and healthy skin. I also can’t leave the house without my NYX micro brow pencil in Noir, LA Girl Pro Concealer, and Wet N Wild matte lipstick in Bare it All. 

Her power accessory: My moldavite crystal necklace. Moldavite is a very rare stone that is known for spiritual transformation and protection. I bought it as a celebratory gift to myself and I have had so many beautiful insights with it. It helps keep my energy light and full of love. I try not to go anywhere without it.

Her theme song: “So Ambitious” by Jay Z. 

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