The Classicist: The Very Best of Polo
Continuing our sporadic series looking back at highlights from the first year of The Classicist, the weekly column devoted to timeless style, enduring elegance, and true, built-to-last luxury as opposed to mere extravagance, we present the pick of the crop devoted to polo, the sport of kings. Polo is "the original 'extreme sport," as Polistas founder Johnny Lynn told us, and has been played for centuries in a wide range of locales from Mongolia to Persia and India, as we learned from photographer Aline Coquelle's gigantic and brilliant book Polo: The Nomadic Tribe. And though it's undeniably an aristocratic pursuit, more people are getting into the game; some even play it on elephants and snow.
Gallery: The Best of Polo
Snow polo was first introduced in 1985 in Switzerland's swank St. Moritz, and caught on immediately among the bon ton. It's no surprise that swells in equally upscale Aspen, CO decided to stage their own snow polo tournament nine years ago, the World Snow Polo Championships, the only one of its kind in the United States. The tournament recently got some unwanted press when it was discovered that White House party crashers Michaele and Tareq Salahi had scammed the organizers of last year's event. Of course some changes to the game are required for playing on snow. For one thing, the polo ponies are shod with special cleated shoes to provide better traction in the snow, and the ball is larger, lighter, and painted bright red to accommodate winter conditions.
Gallery: Snow Polo
Gallery: Polo: The Nomadic Tribe
In 2001 Polo player Johnny Lynn founded Polistas, the first true polo lifestyle brand, made for polo players by polo players, and now he's opening up branches all over the world. Lynn, a Canadian-born former financier who plays polo internationally and teaches as well, conceived of Polistas to outfit polo teams with high quality clothing and accessories both for playing in and for après polo. An immediate success, polo and equestrian enthusiasts of all stripes soon gravitated to his flagship store in London's famed Burlington Arcade. The name Polistas is Argentine slang for "polo players" and it is the classic Argentinian polo lifestyle - rugged, laid-back and timeless - that comes through in Polistas' products and attitude.
Gallery: Polistas Polo Style
When it comes to polo players, none is better known than the dashing Nacho Figueras. Nacho was recently chosen to represent all of Ralph Lauren's Polo fragrances, including Polo Modern Reserve and Polo Blue, in print and advertising campaigns because he embodies the many facets of today's modern Polo man. Born in Argentina in 1977, Nacho developed a love for horses and polo by the age of nine. By the time he was 17, Figueras began his professional polo career. Nacho's name has become so synonymous with the sport of polo that the American Museum of Natural History looked to Figueras to donate his polo equipment to their 2008-2009 exhibit, "The Horse", and he has been matched against England's Prince William and Prince Harry in the UK's Sandhurst Tournament.