From halfway across the globe comes Ignacio “ Nacho” Figueras, the popular Argentinean Polo player and the face of Ralph Lauren’s Black Label fragrance line.
1) Even though you’ve been very successful outside of polo, doing things like modeling for Ralph Lauren, you’ve never lost your intensity for your sport. You are a polo player—and a lot of people don’t understand the level of dedication that it takes to be one, or even the game itself. So let’s start at the beginning. As a boy in Argentina, how did you wind up playing polo?
I started to play Polo in Argentina when I was 9 years old. I grew up around horses so, I knew that Polo is such an interesting sport, and that's how the whole thing started.
2) What makes polo one of the world's most unique sports?
To me I started really young, I loved it from the beginning, I love horses and for me it’s my passion, and has become my mission to raise awareness in the world, and to spread the word about this kind of sport, and for me it’s fun. I’ve been playing Polo for a long time now, and enjoy being able to talk about this sport, not just play it.
3) How much dedication does this game need?
As a hobby it doesn't need fulltime attention, but with my level and dedication it is a full time job, and I’m really dedicated to it. Aside from my dedication to Ralph Lauren and being the face of the brand, I really appreciate how much Ralph Lauren, as a brand, understands my dedication to the game.
4) Tell us about your first introduction to modeling. How did that come about?
It’s not that I was interested in modeling as a career, but I met Ralph Lauren 12 years ago. I don't really consider myself as a model, and I was and I’m still a Polo Player,We have been building this relation since 12 years Mr. Ralph is very respectful to my career, that's why I’m able to do it, it’s something that happened together, and my job and my career to play polo.
5) What is the relation between Ralph Lauren and Nacho?
I do respect Mr. Ralph himself, and this direct relation with him makes me appreciate the brand more. There are too many things that made this effortless relationship.
6) Fashion-wise, do you have any personal preferences?
I’m very much inspired by the Ralph Lauren style and values. I think the reason why I have this strong relationship with the brand is because I share with them the same values, and same style and the timeless pieces they have that perfectly fit my style.
7) Since you are the Face of Ralph Lauren, tell us how much are you involved in the style of Ralph Lauren, and the fragrances?
I’m not, in a particular way, but after 12 years, there is a little brand that is called Black Watch, where I have more say. But sure, after 12 years, ideas and inspirations gets mixed. As a whole, I always think that I’m a part of the fragrances. I started with Polo Black fragrances in 2005, and now I’m face of more than 5 fragrances of Ralph Lauren.
8) Any advice on picking a fragrance?
I believe perfumes are made in different scents to serve different occasions, same as people wear casual during the day, and formal to a gala, same goes for perfumes and fragrances, people should have fragrances that fit the day, and others that fit the night and for special occasions.
9) Going back to Polo, What do you enjoy about it?
The thing that I love the most are the horses. Polo is a fantastic sport, it's a sport that allows me to travel around the world and meet a lot of people. My son started playing polo and I’m so proud and happy about it, and the fact that my son who is 12 years old is playing Polo with me. Just when I thought I might not enjoy polo anymore, my son comes and gives me this power and freshens me up again.
10) What sort of accidents can happen in polo?
Well in Polo, you can die. It's a dangerous sport, it’s risky, there is high adrenaline. When you play, horses are speeding fast, there might be contact with someone else and it’s sometimes so aggressive when it is in high advanced levels. But I do enjoy it, because if you are not comfortable playing in such situations then you won’t be qualified to play the game. I’ve broken different parts of my body before aside from being unconscious a couple of times.
11) What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Well it’s tough for me imagining myself out of what I do right now, but when I get older, I would like to do something that would keep me in contact with horses. However, if had to be born again, I would be an architect.
12) Is it your first time in the Gulf? What sort of impression did you have, and what do you think after being here for almost 24hrs?
Well the impression was I’m coming to a place where exciting things are happening, I was really looking forward, and when I came I found out it’s way more than I was expecting, and plus this country has a big passion for horses, with a long history and culture related to horses, so that's exciting me more to discover it.