Latina Fashionistas Go Mobile

Photo of Fashionistas Go Mobile

Photography by Sarah Duffy

by Charissa Lauren

Fashion trucks have become the latest shopping sensation trending throughout the country, and to put it simply, business is on a roll, especially in the Latino community. The mobility is giving a new meaning to the term street style, is putting fashion in the fast lane, literally. Waiting for customers to come was not Samantha Lugo’s idea of a best-selling-boutique. As any good Latina business-woman knows, if you want something, you have to go out there and get it yourself!

Growing up as a Puerto Rican in Manhattan, New York, Lugo was embedded with a natural flare for fashion, “I was taught to be a passionate, fierce, and strong Boriqua and to always look your best because you never knew who you were going to meet. That is a cultural trait. The women in my family all had their own personal styles and that taught me to be confident in myself and unafraid to try new things.” So when it came time to launch her career, Samantha used her passion to bring her dream of fashion and mobility to life with Broke Little Rich Girl, her very own boutique on wheels.

Image of mannequin outside a truck

Photography by Sarah Duffy

The stylish, one-stop boutique strives to offer fashion and convenience at affordable prices. Covering numerous locations with an ever-expanding inventory makes BLRG a mobile asset for the fashion-savvy woman. “I’m just a girl who has a true passion for style and a dream to outfit all women so they can look and feel fabulous without spending a ton of money,” explains Samantha. Her childhood in Spanish Harlem accustomed Samantha to fierce styles, “I believed for the longest time that every woman was supposed to wear red lipstick and heels,” she reminisces, “I was taught to be proud of my culture.”

She credits her go-getting persona and hard work ethic to her heritage, “My grandparents came to the US from Puerto Rico not knowing how to speak English. My grandpa actually sold oranges on the road to make extra money while he perfected his craft as a chef. He eventually found his way into a kitchen as a head chef in a very popular eatery in NYC.” Inspired by her Latino background and family’s culture, Samantha learned discipline was a priority. “My family taught me to work hard for what you want and to stay true to your values and morals. My mom wakes up at 3:30 AM every morning and gets home at 8:00 PM, but still finds time to be involved and, of course, look fabulous.”

Image of rack of clothes

Photography by Sarah Duffy

Dedication is not a question, but in regards to the mobility of business, Samantha believes that it is becoming more popular, especially within the Latino community, “It turns out that I’m not the only Latina that has started a mobile boutique, in fact some of the most popular ones are fellow Latina’s. It seems like this is a growing industry for Latina business owners,” she explains.

Perhaps, it could be that Latina sense of style that attracts the idea of a fashion boutique on wheels; California alone has three popular Latina-owned mobile boutiques La Bella, Le Fashion Truck and Top Shelf. The Latino-owned Denver Fashion Truck, ( in Colorado, is run under the same fashion-forward mindset; owners Adrian and Desiree Gallegos-Barragan, even won a 2013 Entrepreneur Award. Or maybe, it is just the hard-work ethic to credit for the trending appeal to mobility in Latina community; the idea that you should not wait for business but go to where business will be.

Lugo’s familiarity with dedication and discipline are to tribute for her success in fashion. She has employed her background to strive for her goals and developed a Puerto Rican fashion sense that offers trendy, classic and, on occasion, vintage-inspired ensembles in her boutique. She dreams to style ‘Broke Little Rich Girls’ throughout the country – and it all began with a red lipstick and a pair of heels.