Victoria Martinez

Before I was introduced to Victoria Martinez I was told "you're gonna love her, she's into fashion like you." Simple words but they carry a lot of weight. First of all, I'm not "into fashion", more as this is my life – and such is it for Victoria. She immediately made an impression on me. Pumping Chanel aviators, she blessed me with fashion's customary double cheeked bisous. After a thorough once over I was won over by her fierce Pat Benatar meets Vidal Sassoon shag and flirty, ruffle trim bikini in a minimal modern shade of taupe. She was giving me Iris Chacón meets Debbie Harry for drinks at Downstairs. After taking me to a fabulous brunch in her neighborhood of Park Slope, Brooklyn we got to chatting about fashion and style as our feet cooled off in a kiddie pool on the roof of the Rocket Factory.

Victoria hails from the blossoming landscapes of Colombia and it is that old world, handcrafted, tradition that nurtured Victoria Martinez from unique self-stylista to one-of-a-kind jewelry designer. One thing we bonded over is that both of our families, Latin in culture first off, is that style was always a way of life. Both our grandmothers were seamstresses, but further impressive is that another grandmother of Victoria's was known for her beautiful water colors and luxurious sweaters. As she puts it, "though most of the local children were very poor, they were always well dressed and most importantly, happy."

Inspired by the beauty and creativity of make-it-yourself, Victoria took a few jewelry making classes to learn the basics behind construction and once she got the hang of it she found people stopping to ask her where she got her jewelry. She began her journey in design by looking back at her past and even returned to Colombia for guidance. While there she picked up a few new tricks which laid the foundation for later collections – the art of crochet and filigree. Most of us are familiar with crochet but Victoria has come to own the technique as hers by creating ornate sculptures of gold and silver wire weaved with citrine, aquamarine, pearl, Swarovski crystal and amethyst.

In similar fashion filigree is a further elaborate form of wire work which Victoria designs and has manufactured in Bali and Thailand. She takes these luxuriant crafts and precious stones and incorporates them with vegetable ivory, bamboo, shells and nuts to create a look that is more spiritual, worldly and opulent then the typical "bohemian" style. In four years the collection has grown to include earring, anklets, bracelets, necklaces, riches, brooches and custom pieces. "No two items look the same, nor do they carry the same symbolism or spiritual meaning." She explained to me that often times a person can influence a design and many times a greater energy incites her to create a piece. There are a few pieces in her treasure trove that have yet to find a home, as they wait for their rightful owner to kindle that divine connection between the soul and its expression.

Recently Victoria reconnected with her family, this time her aunt, to develop a resort line congruous with the indigenous foundation of her jewelry. Simply called Victoria, the line is simple, classic, but stylish crochet bikinis, skirts, shorts and cover ups which can be worn by anyone. The beauty of the crochet textile is that it covers every women's natural contours but also shows just the right amount of skin to inspire sensuality for anyone wearing it or admiring from afar. Her pieces can be made to order with a choice of color based on her season's themes and can further be elaborated with beading. So no matter what, a Victoria piece is yours and yours alone. It's haute couture at the beach. The line and her Victoria Martinez jewelry can be found at NY Artificial, NYA, Lola y Maria here in New York City and Pink House in Glendale Arizona.

Izzy Ruiz, Reporting from New York, NY |

08.21.08  |  LINK


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