Henry Calderon

Polo / Fashion / Peru // Nowadays, information is at our fingertips. We are able to find out about most people with much simplicity. All we need to do is google them. We can find out what they have done, images of them at different ages, we can even see who their friends are. In the age of information overload, we feel much more secure knowing who it is that we have met. This is what intrigues me about Henry Calderon.

He maintains an air of mystery. I can tell you he is highly fashionable. He is a lover of all things tennis and polo. I know he is Peruvian-Canadian, born in the city of Lima, Peru and immigrated to Canada to go to university. I know he speaks three languages fluently and that he has a son.

I venture to guess that he had a first career that he is now retired from, but I dare not ask. Not because he is intimidating, it is rather that not knowing maintains a sense of intrigue for me. I first meet him at a fashion event and he is dressed in black and white, and like one of his fashion icons, Karl Lagerfeld, has on a pair of dark sunglasses. He is poetic in our conversations. When I ask him about Karl Lagerfeld’s influence, he explains that “ Karl gave to the world of fashion his own soul, in his own way, and he was easy to understand if you listen to him…like a dressage rider making a beautiful stallion walk the arena with incredible class and sophistication.”

We meet again, about a year later, this time in Lima. It is fitting that he invites me, and my wife, to polo practice, a passion of his. It is here at the polo grounds, hidden underneath the sacred ground of Pachacamac - a burial site and sacred ground for not only the Inca, but also, Pre-Incan tribes that we take some photographs. He introduces us to his coach and goes on to show us the polo grounds. We talk about polo, we talk about Peru, we speak in Spanish (translated back to me by my wife) and English. We talk about the beauty of polo and the humility of riding in the shadow of sacred grounds.

I do not press for more answers because I appreciate the mystery of his story. I am however, grateful for these words he provides to me:

“A great life is when you look at humanity and with your actions you give to yourself and others in the most unconditional way.”

With dignity and respect,