Any image that someone may have of Vicky Martín Berrocal (Sevilla, 47 years old) as a whirlwind is real. In fact, it falls short. It is a torrent, an earthquake, a hurricane. When he arrives for the interview in his store in Madrid, he is recording a video, with his heels thrown on the ground, unstoppable after a long and frantic day. You receive the place as if it were – and it is – your home. He decides how and where to pose for the photos and, for the chat, he chooses the seat, laughs out loud, whispers confidently, gets emotional to the very tears. He tells his life without filters and rivets his words with his voice, his eyes, his hands.
When it has been 24 years since he became popular because of his wedding with the bullfighter Manuel Benítez, El Cordobés, (from whom he separated four years later and with whom she has a daughter) and after 15 years in the fashion business with her firm Victoria , Martín Berrocal is a successful businesswoman. "I only receive affection and admiration," he acknowledges EL PAÍS. “First I was 'the girlfriend of', then 'the woman of' and then I was Vicky Martín Berrocal. I don't know how people see me, I hope that how I feel them, with affection and respect ”. For International Women's Day, which is celebrated this March 8, she has been chosen by Amazon together with women from around the world to value talent and female entrepreneurship.
She represents Spain in a group in which there are the designer Diane von Furstenberg , or actresses like Mindy Kaling or Priyanka Chopra . She swells with pride at feeling chosen as a businesswoman, and more so among women "with a few names and surnames …". "A level of entrepreneurs who have fought, fought and watched for their dreams," she says very seriously. "When they tell you that Amazon International comes to look for you from all over Spain, to find that enterprising woman, as an example of not being afraid to fight, to fight, to sacrifice … Dreams come true," she explains happily.
She does it sitting precisely on a bench in front of the changing room of one of those dreams, one of her three stores. If 15 years ago you had been told that you were going to get here, you would not have believed it. She started in flamenco fashion, which she left five years ago to focus her efforts on her eponymous brand, although she acknowledges that one day she will return to it: "It's my passion, my right eye."
With Victoria he wanted to bring some creations to the general public, girlfriend first and guest later, not so accessible. Now it handles medium prices, but carvings of all kinds. “Here you can find all the sizes. I am never going to stop dressing women, I never die, ”he says, widening his eyes. In fact, he likes to dress “all women, empower each one”, regardless of their body. She says it, who has often been in the spotlight because of her physique: “On top of what we are going through, I'm going to cut myself doing what I like! Life is short and you have to have a balance, but you have to give yourself whatever whims you want. This is how I am and this is how I live. And whoever doesn't like it, shouldn't look. ”
The pandemic has not slowed down the advance of its brand, despite having to lower the blind for months (” I closed on my birthday, ”he recalls, referring to the 11th of March 2020 ). She doesn't lose her rings for making clothes cheaper or downgrading last year's collection. “We produced a collection for spring-summer and it was whole. It does not pass ná "says last a long drag. “You have to go ahead . What do we do with this? Well, discounts, come out. What do you not win? Well, you will have won it again! Life's circumstances change, ”he says bluntly. Now she has been launched with a collection of kimonos worn by her good friend Tamara Falcó – with whom she coincided at MasterChef Celebrity – and her mother, Isabel Preysler, something she is grateful for for the enormous visibility she gives to her designs.
But the key to her business is her dresses, priced for a wide audience. She admits that it hurt her when people stopped her on the street to tell her that they couldn't afford them. Between now and summer, in fact, he is going to release designs with lower prices: “And he gets 60 euros and another day a girlfriend of 20,000. You have to adapt to the times ”. Of course, the shop assistants don't even want to see her, she laughs. "They tell me: 'Get away from the box, it's impossible with you, we won't go ahead with you!" He has lowered dresses, he has even given them to women who are immensely excited about it: "They came with a little crumpled cutout in their purse …". His eyes blur at the memory. "Romanticism can do me," he resigned. As she says, it is more than a transaction: “There are stories between me and them, there are looks, sensitivity, soul. I do not sell suits, I sell dreams, illusions and truth. ”
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There are many moments in his career that Martín Berrocal remembers, but pausing its manufacture to make masks and gowns in the pandemic puts a lump in his throat. “I have had the gratitude of every woman who has left here dressed, but that … I can't tell you, because I break down. We stopped everything, the team went to work day, night and early morning. I have not seen people so focused on a collection that I have made ”, she laughs excitedly.
Martín Berrocal is a worthy daughter of her father, businessman José Luis Martín Berrocal, who died 12 years ago. He would spend the day reeling off his anecdotes, “a great guy, who did what he wanted”: how he set up companies like La Sepulvedana until his adventures in Las Vegas, without speaking a single drop of English, to organize boxing matches with Don King and Mohammed ali. He thinks that from him he has gotten “a brutal intuition” and those passions for “art, for learning, for living”. He never studied design, and he has no regrets about it. "From the first moment, with the first sample of fabrics, I have not doubted a fabric, in the form of a dress", he affirms with the confidence that comes from having a small empire with three own stores and dozens of points of sale throughout Spain. She believes that this, perseverance and tenacity, have earned her the respect of a profession that did not always accept her. “At first it was difficult for them, they thought it was a whim, a 'this girl has come to tell us a movie'. But in the end, it's been years since everyone shook my hand. ”
Although involved in her brand as creative director, since June Martín Berrocal has lived in Portugal with her current partner, businessman Joao Viegas. "I went through the pandemic in Madrid and then I went with the moving truck, I left for love," he confesses. He is full of compliments to Viegas. “I have found the person I want to be with me for the rest of my life. I hope so. I want pa 'siempre ". He would love it to end in a wedding. You already know where the dress will come from.