MELISSA JIMÉNEZ: AN OASIS OF PEACE
With the desert as the center stage, Melissa Jiménez reveals her fashion style keys, her priorities as a mother and her opinion on the role of women in motoring journalism.
A sunset in the Moroccan arid sandbank makes for the backdrop for a reflection sesión. With a red tea in hand and a relaxing atmosphere, Melissa chooses the combination of embroidered tops, cardigans and boots inspired by the Moroccan ornamentation. Long flower print dresses and hats join forces to bring out her Bohemian side, and the Earthy tones play the lead role in a chromatic range that merges into the surroundings, from the limestone red to the sand, russet and nude tones.
Time seems to freeze in a location that Melissa reminds fondly. “My friends organized a surprise bachelorette party trip to Marrakech, we stayed at the Medina and it was un unforgettable experience”, she says. “I’m really into food so I loved the gastronomy, the hummus, the different types of fruit…”.
“The German style is the one I like the most because it’s sophisticated, elegant, simple”.
“[In motoring journalism] I’ve always had to prove just for being a woman that I wasn’t there because of my looks or because of a privileged opportunity”.
She was born in Belgium, and has lived in the United States, Italy, Germany, Spain… and eventhough her heart will always choose Spain as her favourite place of residence, she admits that fashion in Germany marked a milestone for her. As a true lover of winter clothes, turtlenecks, leather and long coats, she felt like herself in Germany. “The German style is the one I like the most because it’s sophisticated, elegant, simple. I don’t know, I felt more elegant. It was actually shocking because even men there seemed to very fashionable”, she points out.
Determined, with a clear mindset and true to a style that hasn’t changed in the different stages of her life –including her double experience as a mother–, Melissa admits that in her closet there are always three essential pieces: a pair of jeans, a midi skirt and a flower print dress. And it looks like this determination when it comes to clothing is something her oldest daughters has inherited. She admits she loves dressing up little 6-month-old Abril with leggins and sweatshirts and that now Gala, her 3-year-old, is satring to take her first fashionista steps. “She loves princess-like tulle skirts, sneakers with lights… And even if doesn’t match I always try to make her feel comfortable with what she likes”, she explains. “For example I love headbands but she hates them, she prefers to braid her hair ‘Frozen style’”.
It’s precisely her kids who take up all of Melissa’s time. Just a few months from being a year since her husband –the football player Marc Bartra–, her and her daughters moved to Sevilla, she is determined to spend as much time as posible with her family. “I want to do many things but I’m a bit of a ‘mother hen’ and I’m very close to my daughters”, she admits. “In Sevilla it’s just the four of us and we have to be there for each other, so I don’t really have that much time left for anything else. And my priority now is being with my daughters”.
Up until now her dream come true has been to devote herself to motoring journalism. A world that has made her defend her professional qualities against prejudice and fight the stigma of female sports journalists from inside the industry. “Eventhough a lot of people knew that I’ve always loved motorcycling –because my father is an engineer at a motor-racing team–, I’ve always had to prove just for being a woman that I wasn’t there because of my looks or because of a privileged opportunity”, she states. “I’ve had to fight and prove that I know even more than many men of the industry”. Although she misses motoring journalism, she assures that events like the Motorcycling World Championship are incompatible with her current life because they require up to 18 weeks out of home and now, for Melissa, home has names and surnames.