Nacho Figueras is taking a page out of Prince Harry's book.
The Argentinian polo star recently launched his first-ever fragrance collection, The Ignacio Figueras Collection, a group of six scents, each inspired by a global city where he's played polo. A portion of sales from the collection will go to Sentebale, a charity founded by Prince Harry that supports children affected by HIV in Lesotho and Botswana.
For Figueras, he found direct inspiration from the Duke of Sussex's selfless charitable work with Sentebale and beyond.
"We’ve known each other for 13 years now, and I love to spend time with him. He’s a really great guy, and we’ve learned to become great friends. He’s very committed to his charity, which is something that is very inspiring to me," he told AOL's Gibson Johns during a recent interview. "He’s a guy that could be sitting in the Windsor castle riding horses, but instead he’s making a lot of effort to make the world a better place, and I admire that very, very much"
"To me, he’s a friend and a mentor and someone who inspires me to be better," Figueras added. "This [collection] has a lot to do with that example, and I wanted to do something that I thought could help the cause without us having to show up every time. I wanted to create something that could do good over time."
Learn more about Nacho Figueras' latest venture, The Ignacio Figueras Collection, which just recently launched at Bergdorf Goodman, below:
Your first fragrance collection, The Ignacio Figueras Collection, is launching at Bergdorf Goodman today. How does it feel to be debuting these fragrances at such an iconic store?
We’re very honored that Bergdorf gave us the opportunity to launch here, because it’s always great to start at the top. Bergdorf is the highest you can go, so we’re honored that they share out vision and passion for this great product.
Why are you starting a fragrance line? Why now?
As a family, we’ve been wanting and looking to do something that belonged to us for quite a while now. You cannot deny our 20-year history with Ralph Lauren, which was an incredible journey and an honor for me. We’ve been wanting to do our own thing and tell a story for a while, and the conception was, "Let’s do something that’s ours and that we feel associated with and something that is philanthropic from the beginning." That was one of the first things that we discussed as a family and that [my wife] Delphi and I wanted to do for our family and share with our children. We wanted them to be onboard, too. That’s how it all started.
The collection is made up of six fragrances that are tied to six places you've played polo in. Did you know you wanted to connect this so directly to your polo career?
It made sense, right? The pillars of how we wanted to tell this story and what we wanted this to be was giving back, the family and what we do, and our whole family plays polo. As we started discussing the ideas with the team and going back and forth with it, we came to the conclusion that we happen to live an incredible life and we’re very blessed and I don’t think many people can say they spend their year going around to all these amazing places, so we thought that was a very strong way to tell our story.
Talk me through the cities that are represented here.
We threw a whole bunch of names out there, and there are more that will hopefully come into the picture, but we wanted to start obviously with Buenos Aires, because that’s where we’re from and that’s where Delphi and I met and where our children were born. That’s also kind of like the home of polo. Then, Palm Beach is a place where we spend most American winters. All of our kids spent months there and they learned how to speak English there. Palm Beach is also an obvious stop in our calendar. Aspen is also a place we’ve been going to to 10 years, we all love to ski, and we’ve spent Christmases there. It’s also as incredible in the summer as it is in the winter. Windsor is the modern birthplace of polo. England writes the rules of every sport. England is one of the main places where polo is played. There’s also the obvious connection to Sentebale and Prince Harry, who is a friend. We spend a lot of time playing and raising money for charity. I also think that there are very few places as beautiful as England when it’s not raining. We also wanted to expand the globe, and Jaipur is a place we’ve taken our two oldest kids and it’s a magical place that we fell in love with. It was also a way to make it even more global. Dubai is a place where polo is big, too. The Arab world loves horses, and we’ve played there a few times, so we thought that covered the globe very well.
Delphi, how have you been involved in the process of putting together this collection?
Delphi: I worked together with Nacho, and I helped some with the fragrances.
Nacho: No, not a little bit -- a lot! She has a much better nose, and she really was the person behind it giving a lot of feedback. She has a very strong sense of smell and remembering smells and things that remind her about these places. We also took Aurora with us, and she had a good point of view. We like to involve the kids, too.
Delphi: When they are eager to know and they want to participate, I like them to do so.
Nacho: This is a legacy that they can hopefully take over.
Polo is big where it’s big, but it hasn’t necessarily reached certain masses of people around the world. You’re obviously an ambassador for the sport, but how to do you take that responsibility with you on projects like this, where you're really going beyond the sport?
It’s certainly a responsibility. For whatever reason, I’ve become a voice for the past 20 years in the sport. Not just me, but also others. There’s a responsibility through this product that obviously has a horse and equestrian component, because it’s in my DNA and in our DNA as a family. We breed horses and, through all of the events and matches we go to, it’s a responsibility. It’s an amazing and wonderful sport that has a lot to offer and amazing ingredients that people don’t know so much about. It can be perceived as elitist or that you’re not welcome, but I see it in a whole different way as a sport with a connection to animals. It’s something that, as a family, we’ve passed on through generations. Polo, for us, is something we love to do. We love horses. We love to do it as a family.
Churchill said two great things about polo: One is that polo is a passport to the world, and that very much defines what polo really is. It’s much more inclusive than people realize. He also said that the outside of the horse is good for the inside of a man, and I very much believe that, too. If you sat with 1000 polo players, they would all agree that what we love the most about polo are the horses.
Your friendship with Prince Harry brings a lot of attention to the sport. How have you found that your friendship with him as evolved over the years? You've both had to navigate more fame and attention as the years have gone on, and I'm curious if you've done any of that together?
We’ve known each other for 13 years now, and I love to spend time with him. He’s a really great guy, and we’ve learned to become great friends. He’s very committed to his charity, which is something that is very inspiring to me. He’s a guy that could be sitting in the Windsor castle riding horses, but instead he’s making a lot of effort to make the world a better place, and I admire that very, very much. To me, he’s a friend and a mentor and someone who inspires me to be better. This [collection] has a lot to do with that example, and I wanted to do something that I thought could help the cause without us having to show up every time. I wanted to create something that could do good over time.
This interview has been edited and condensed.