Lopes was born on 26 February 1986 in Benguela City, Benguela Province, Angola. Prior to being a contestant in beauty pageants, she studied business management at University Campus Suffolk in Ipswich, England. Lopes is actively involved in raising awareness about HIV/AIDS and the discrimination that people with the disease experience.
Miss Angola UK 2010
While living and studying in England, she participated in Miss Angola UK on 8 October 2010. Lopes won the title, giving her the opportunity to represent the British Angolan community in Miss Angola 2011.
Miss Angola 2010
Lopes beat 20 other candidates to be named Miss Angola in Luanda on 18 December 2010, gaining her the right to represent Angola in Miss Universe 2011. She also obtained the Photogenic Award during the contest.
Miss Universe 2011
On 12 September 2011, Lopes was crowned Miss Universe in S�o Paulo, Brazil, receiving the title from the former Miss Universe Ximena Navarrete of Mexico. She is currently the 60th Miss Universe titleholder, and is the first Angolan woman to hold the position. Lopes is the seventh woman of African descent to win the title since the beginning of the worldwide pageant (following Miss Trinidad and Tobago in 1977, Miss South Africa in 1978, Miss Namibia in 1992, Miss USA in 1995, Miss Trinidad and Tobago 1998, and Miss Botswana in 1999) and the fourth African woman from the African continent to win following Mpule Kwelagobe, Miss Universe 1999 from Botswana.Lopes also became the first woman from Angola to win a "Big Four" beauty pageant. In October 2011, Lopes paid a visit to Indonesia where she attended local charity events and Puteri Indonesia 2011 Pageant held at Jakarta Convention Center, in Jakarta.
In December 2011, Lopes was invited to attend the first edition of Miss Gabon Pageant in Libreville, Gabon where she crowned the first Gabonese representative to Miss Universe in history, Marie-No�lle Ada Meyofrom Ngouni� Province. Lopes traveled to D�sseldorf, Germany with her sister titleholders Alyssa Campanella and Danielle Doty for a week-long USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour from 9�14 March 2012. During the week, she also participated the Beauty International Trade Show which took place at D�sseldorf Exhibition Centre. Lopes walked the red carpet of the world-renowned Cannes Film Festival in France on 23 May 2012.
She also attended the De Grisogono Glam Extravaganza held at the Hotel Du Cap Eden-Roc in Cap D'Antibes, France on the same day. Prior to her visit to France, she was in Lisbon, Portugal for a series of photoshoots and television appearances. Her short visit in Portugal was upon the invitation of Maxim Portugal Magazine. In June 2012, Lopes embarked on a 5-country West African tour that took her to Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo and Nigeria. Later that month, Lopes attended the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In October, Lopes traveled to Nicaragua for the "Fashion for Smiles", a spectacular fashion show which organized by Operation Smile Nicaragua with the collaboration from Silhuetas models, took place at the Crowne Plaza Convention Center in Managua with the participation of 15 of Miss Universe 2012 competitors from the Americas. During her reign, Lopes traveled to Singapore, Indonesia, Angola, Cambodia, Bahamas, Gabon, Jamaica, South Africa, Germany, Dominican Republic, Portugal, France, Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Brazil, Guyana, Nicaragua, Namibia, Kenya, Mozambique and numerous trips around the USA.