The first thing that strikes you when you come face to face with Isabel Preysler, dubbed “La Reina del Glamour” by the Spanish media, is how captivatingly expressive her light brown eyes are. She looks at you intently, engaging you with her eyes, speaking to you as if you were the only person at the party. Despite her international stature and renowned beauty, she has a way of making a person feel very comfortable meeting her for the first time.
Isabel Preysler commands attention wherever she goes; this was evident at the recent launch of the swanky Porcelanosa showroom at Bonifacio Global City; like moths to a flame, guests both men and women instinctively drew to her, eager to shake her hands and have a photo taken with her. She was gracious and elegant the entire time, showing no sign of fatigue after having just arrived from Spain.
Isabel Preysler was a young Filipina lady of 16 when she went to Madrid to study at the Mary Ward University. About three years into her stay in Spain, she was introduced to a handsome Spanish lad at a party, a football player and budding crooner who would later become the famous Spanish musical icon Julio Iglesias; he was also her first interviewee as journalist for Hola magazine. After seven months of courtship, they married in January of 1971 and had three lovely children, a girl (Chabeli) and two boys (Julio Jr. and heartthrob singer Enrique Iglesias). They divorced in 1978 but remain friends and doting parents to their kids. Isabel chose to stay in her adopted country of Spain, a decision that was met with warmth and open arms not just by the local press but by the Spanish people as well.
After a career in journalism that began in 1970 at Hola magazine, Isabel Preysler went on to host a Spanish lifestyle television show called Hoy en Casa in 1984; she was briefly married to Carlos Falco, Marques de Grinon, a union that produced another beautiful daughter for Isabel, Tamara Falco. In 2006, Isabel Preysler was bestowed the “Women Together Award” for her philanthropic work alongside Shakira, Yoko Ono and Hillary Clinton, the first Filipina ever to receive this award.
The devoted wife and mother, entrepreneurial woman, journalist, celebrity, socialite, fashion icon, model and philanthropist that is Isabel Preysler stays true to her Filipina values of family first despite the demands of her multi-faceted life. Currently married to Miguel Boyer, the former Spanish finance minister with whom she has another daughter, Ana, this statuesque beauty of 61 years is the epitome of the empowered woman who has everything and does everything with effortless beauty, passion and grace. She maintains a close and loving relationship with her five children despite the rigors of having a successful lifestyle and fashion-design company, a busy social life and a high-profile public persona obsessively monitored by the paparazzi. She once confessed to being discomfited by the constant media attention but has since resigned herself and accepted her fate as a celebrity and has used it to her advantage, organizing fundraisers for many of her charities.
Voted as Most Elegant & Best-Dressed Woman in Spain for successive years since 1991, Isabel Preysler often graces the pages of Hola magazine, Vogue España and other European publications. A darling of European designers, she is just as comfortable in jeans at her well-appointed home as she is in a Valentino haute couture gown at a gala. She moves around in European social circles that include the Spanish royal family and Prince Charles and celebrities like David and Victoria Beckham and Hollywood star George Clooney. Always impeccably dressed, Isabel Preysler is a fashion and beauty icon that makes not only the Spanish but also Filipinos proud.
In an interview, Isabel Preysler talked about her beauty and fitness regimen and whether a reality-television show à la Keeping Up with the Kardashians is on the horizon.
PHILIPPINE STAR: Everyone is amazed by your beauty and youthful look. How do you maintain a sexy, fit physique at 61 years of age? What do you do? Do you diet? Is there anything you don’t eat?
ISABEL PREYSLER: I don’t know about sexy and fit, I just keep a very active lifestyle. No, there is nothing I do not eat! Maybe that is my secret, that I eat everything but with balance, moderation.
Considering your very busy schedule, how many hours of sleep do you get in a day?
I’m afraid not enough, but if I can, I try to get at least seven hours of sleep.
How did your partnership with Porcelanosa come about? How long have you been endorsing their products?
My relationship with Porcelanosa goes back 26 years and the owners of the company have since become my friends, even almost like family.
Do you use their products in your homes?
Of course, absolutely! Porcelanosa has great quality products.
You are known and respected for your philanthropic work. What charities do you support?
I do a lot of work for children’s charities; they are very close to my heart.
Do you consider yourself more Filipina or more Spanish?
I believe half and half. I tell everyone, why choose when I can be both?
You have five children, four live in Spain close to you and your son Enrique lives in Miami; do you miss him? Have you ever asked him to live in Spain close to all of you?
I do not really have the chance to miss Enrique because I see him all the time even if he lives in Miami; I either go to visit him or he comes to visit us and we do that very often.
You are always photographed wearing exquisite attire. Do you wear clothes by Filipino designers?
Yes, I have clothes by Pitoy Moreno and Inno Sotto.
Your family is considered celebrity in Spain; have you ever been offered to do a reality-television show like the Kardashians?
No, not really.
If you were offered, would you consider doing a reality television show?
Never. Not in a million years! (Rolling her beautiful light brown eyes to emphasize her response.)