Full Name at Birth
Natividad Abascal Romero de Toro
Date of Birth
Natividad Abascal y Romero-Toro (born 1943, in Seville), more commonly known as Nati Abascal, is a Spanish socialite and a former fashion model.
Her modeling career started when Spanish fashion designer Elio Berhanyer asked both her and her twin sister Ana Maria to model some of his designs for the International Exhibition in New York in 1964. Richard Avedon must have seen the odd couple and decided to photograph them in Ibiza later in 1964 for his `The Iberians (The Blaze in Spain)` editorial in Harper`s Bazaar. By 1965 Naty was on the cover of this publication in another photograph signed by Avedon. After this, her modeling career took off and she fixed her residence in New York. Among others, she worked for Oscar de la Renta from his very early days- in fact they met while he was still working for Elizabeth Arden- and they became great friends, a friendship that lasts to the present day. Designer Valentino met Naty in 1968 at a party when she was 25 years old. By then, she had already been working as a model in New York for at least 3 years and had a full-time contract with Ford model agency. Valentino brought her to the island of Capri for modeling shoots and, ever since, they`ve remained close friends. Legend says that Naty introduced Valentino to Andy Warhol who, apparently called her "The Spanish Empire State". Naty is also the protagonist of another urban legend: apparently a man crashed his car when he couldn`t get his eyes off her while she crossed the street in her hot pants and high heels. In 1970 Abascal married Murray Livingston Smith, a Formula One pilot and they were together until 1975, when they divorced. In 1971 she had a short role within Woody Allen`s 1971 film "Bananas"as the guerrilla girl Yolanda. In 1974 she made a `commercial/happening` for Alka-Seltzer with Salvador Dalí which was seen as "too aggressive" by certain viewers. Dali was shown pretending to stab Naty with some paint brushes, at the same time as he painted her body. The commercial was not particularly successful and was taken back from public view quite quickly. After 1975 she came back to Spain and got reunited with an ex-boyfriend from her teenage years, Rafael Medina y Fernandez de Cordoba, Duke of Feria and Marquis of Villalba. They married in July 1977 and had two sons, Rafael, born on 25 September 1978, who is the present Duke of Feria, and Luis, born on 30 August 1980. At the beginning of the 1980s, and well after having left the fashion world, she jumped again on the catwalks for her friend Carolina Herrera`s first collection. It was her last time and, probably, more as a favour to her friend than as a proper job. Also, in 1984 she presented Oscar de la Renta`s collection to the Spanish media. In 1982, several years after having left the fashion world, Norman Parkinson decided to portray her and so did Lord Snowdon in 1987. Naty and Rafael Medina split up in 1989 and divorced in unfriendly terms. Rafael died on 9 August 2001 after some troublesome last years. 
Naty is known as one of Valentino`s Spanish muses and she`s also closely connected to Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera, among other designers. She is still actively working both as a stylist for Hola! magazine and for Mango as a fashion advisor. Nati Abascal still keeps her youthful looks and beauty, and is one of the most dashing and well-connected persons in the fashion circles worldwide.
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