Coast to Coast

Posted online: December 2015

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Nacho and Delfina at Loon Point in Summerland. On Nacho: Michael Kors coat, Levi’s jeans. On Delfina: Givenchy dress, Brixton hat.

Written by Gina Tolleson Photographs by Dewey Nicks Styled by Lindsay Pogemiller and Alyssa Sutter/Starworks

Nacho Figueras is polo’s answer to David Beckham. The 6-goal professional player is the whole package. Married to his teenage sweetheart, photographer and model Delfina Blaquier, the jet-setting father of four travels the globe with his picture-perfect brood in tow. The handsome Argentine rose to fame playing on the fields of the Hamptons, where he just so happened to be discovered by fashion photographer Bruce Weber at a dinner party. He’s that enviable trifecta—with the look, the family, and the accent to boot. And now they’ve set their sights on the sunny sands of California as a new seasonal hub.

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On Defina: Rachel Zoe dress, Brixton hat. Opposite: Levi’s jeans.

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Clockwise from top left: On Nacho: Michael Kors sweater, on Delfina: Tess Giberson sweater; on Delfina: cali dreaming top, on Nacho: Brunello Cucinelli sweater, Levi’s jeans; Michael Kors Collection gown.

“A mission in my life is to bring polo to the world a little more,” says Nacho, who has saddled up with both Prince William and Prince Harry and cohosts the annual bicoastal Veuve Clicquot Polo Classics on Manhattan’s Governor’s Island and at Pacific Palisades’s Will Rogers State Park. The 38-year-old is as comfortable straddling a horse and hitting the game-winning goal for his Black Watch team as he is in front of the camera modeling for major designers, most notably with Ralph Lauren for the past 10 years.

He couldn’t have a better teammate in Delfina. They are the real deal, a modern fairytale in the making. From love at first sight in their native Buenos Aires to a wedding on the family’s estancia in 2004 and whirlwind trots around the world, the charming couple even starred together in Ralph Lauren’s Romance campaign in 2011, aptly titled “A Love Story.”

No one knows the glamorous polo world like “Delfi” (as Nacho calls her), who’s watched four generations of players—her grandfather, father, husband, and son—play in countless matches. The striking mother of Hilario, 15, Aurora, 11, Artemio, 6, and Alba, 2, is a force to be reckoned with on a horse as well. A fluid and fearless rider (yes, she is commanding the reins bareback and barefoot in beaded gowns and swimsuits in the preceding pages), the 5’11” stunner is just as passionate about the game and the life they have created in Argentina and abroad.

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On Delfina: Cali Dreaming dress. On Nacho: Hermes jacket, Ralph Lauren T-shirt, Michael Kors trousers.

 

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On Delfina: Michael Kors Collection gown. On Nacho: Ralph Lauren Purple Label sweater, Levi’s jeans.

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On Nacho: Brunello Cucinelli sweater, Levi’s jeans, on Delfina: Givenchy dress, Brixton hat.

The Latin power couple has built a modernist manse outside of Buenos Aires that contains an art studio for Nacho to paint his colorful abstract canvases and to house Delfina’s oversized black-and-white photographs. The concrete and wood barns host more than 500 horses with an adjacent breeding facility and turn out prize-winning ponies at world-class prices. “Horses are a very important part of the game. Without good horses, you can’t win. It’s like race-car driving. You could be the best driver in the world, but if I give you a 1964 Oldsmobile, and I drive a Ferrari, you can never beat me,” remarks Nacho. “With polo, it’s more or less the same. If you have great horses and are playing someone who is as good as you but doesn’t have good horses, 99 percent of the time you will win.” Delfina adds, “When you see the horses race down the field, it is very emotional. You know the grandmother and the aunts of those ponies. It’s even more special to watch our own horse, because it’s like having your own child.”

It’s no surprise that they’re keeping their eyes on the ball rolling toward the West Coast—fashion, art, entertainment, music, food, film, and even the luxe biz of polo—layering into the cultural zeitgeist of the new California. New Yorkers are moving to the City of Angels in droves, and our American Riviera is seducing Hamptonites. We also happen to have one of the finest polo clubs in the world. John Muse, president of the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club adds, “Nacho is a brand of his own in fashion and the equestrian lifestyle. He is one of the most effective promoters of the sport of polo.”

“Santa Barbara has a very special vibe,” says Delfina. “I could make it my home very fast.” This past summer, the Figueras tribe road-tripped up the 101 and made camp at Tom Barrack’s Piocho Ranch in Santa Ynez. Nacho played in casual games at the Happy Canyon farm while the children and Delfina took in trail rides in the valley, sunsets at Santa Claus beach, and ice cream at Rori’s Creamery. “We love it as a family here,” says Nacho. “The beach, the horses, the people, the polo club, and every once in a while an In-n-Out burger!”

Photographer’s assistants: Henry Han and Albert Fu. Hair by Eric Gabriel. Makeup by Christy Coleman. Production assistant: Charlotte Bryant. Interns: Catherine McFarland and Kara Pearson. For more information, see “Shopping Guide” (page 175). Follow on Instagram: @nachofigueras @delfinablaquier #wearefigueras

[WINTER 16]

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