Waris Ahluwalia (born 1974) is an Indian American designer and actor based in New York City. His company, House of Waris, has collaborated with a number of other designers and artists throughout the years. House of Waris came into being after the owners of Maxfield’s in Los Angeles noticed Ahluwalia’s elaborate diamond rings and placed an order, which sold out.
|Born||1974 (age 41–42)
Amritsar, Punjab, India
Ahluwalia was born in Amritsar, Punjab, India, and moved to New York at the age of five, where he still lives.
House of Waris, founded by Ahluwalia, is strongly influenced by the romance and history of ancient kingdoms.
Ahluwalia, who is now based in New York City, travels frequently to Rome and Rajasthan, working with craftsmen in each city, from goldsmiths to diamond setters who once made the crests for royal families. He was a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalist in 2009, and in 2010 he was inducted as an official member of the CFDA. The same year, Ahluwalia was placed on Vanity Fair’s Best Dressed List, anointed British GQ’s second best dressed man internationally and included in Vogue’s 10 Most Impactful people list. He also pens the column ‘Love & Waris’ on Style.com.
In October 2010, House of Waris opened a pop up tea room under the High Line. The pavilion of the pop up space housed apparel and accessories from designers like Rodarte, A.P.C., book publisher Assouline and jewelry by Ahluwalia himself. The garden area served tea from the Himalayas and food from NYC restaurants like Café Cluny and Bar Pitti.
In February 2011, Ahluwalia held his first New York Fashion Week presentation at the Museum of Arts & Design, launching a line of scarves made in India: block printed, hand dyed, silk screened, made of the finest cashmere and silks.
Using House of Waris as a platform for collaborations, Waris has worked with A.P.C., Forevermark of the De Beers Group of Companies, and Tilda Swinton for Pringle of Scotland. Ahluwalia has also collaborated with Benjami Cho, yoox.com, Lookmatic, the Webster Miami, Colette in Paris, Elliott Puckette for NewbarK, and the World Gold Council.
In response to the attacks in Mumbai in November 2008, Ahluwalia, along with Mortimer Singer and Tina Bhojwani, created To India, with Love, a book aiming to raise funds, spirits, and awareness for the victims of the attacks. All of the proceeds went directly to Taj Public Service Welfare Trust in conjunction with Mumbai: We Got Your Back! (WGYB!), an organization founded by the three editors.
In 2012, Ahluwalia contributed to the summer issue of The Paris Review, writing an essay on art featuring the work of Walton Ford and Ryan McGinley. Ahluwalia also collaborated with the world-renowned restaurant from New Delhi, BUKHARA. The restaurant opened an exclusive pop up in London at the Sheraton Park Tower in which Ahluwalia served as Creative Director. The pop up ran for two weeks and donated a portion of the proceeds obtained to support the Elephant Family non-profit organization.
As a part of his role as Global Ambassador for Starwood’s Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts, Ahluwalia wrote and produced the original short film, “HERE: a Film” by Luca Guadagnino. The film’s team included Tilda Swinton (co-writer), Heidi Bivens (stylist), Jason Schwartzman (music) and Agyness Deyn (actress).
In 2013, House of Waris launched a line for Valentine’s Day, called ‘Boo’, referring to it as a term of endearment. To promote the line, Ahluwalia commissioned 9 artists and filmmakers to make short films titled “You’re my Boo.” The list of artists included Phillip Andelman, Casey Neistat, Brett Stabler, Ben Watts, and Hailey Gates; as well as John Forté, Mick Rock, Matthew Frost.
Ahluwalia has also collaborated with Illesteva Eyewear on a line of sunglasses that launched April 2013. The sunglasses are made in France and are available in four colors.
In 2013, Ahluwalia was featured in a Gap “Make Love” campaign ad that received attention from consumers and the media alike.
Ahluwalia’s first film was The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) by Wes Anderson, as Vikram Ray, with a cast that included Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Anjelica Huston, and Cate Blanchett. He played a short role in Wes Anderson’s critically acclaimed The Grand Budapest Hotel. His film Beeba Boys, directed by Deepa Mehta and starring Randeep Hooda, was released on October 16, 2015.
|2004||America Brown||Natasha Lyonne’s friend|
|The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou||Vikram Ray|
|2005||The F Word||Republican Fundraiser|
|2006||Inside Man||Vikram Walia|
|2007||High Falls||Bud||Short film|
|The Darjeeling Limited||The Chief Steward|
|Hotel Chevalier||Security||Short film|
|Henry the Otter||Store Clerk 1|
|2009||Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead||Hugo Pepper|
|2010||I Am Love||Shai Kubelkian|
|2014||The Grand Budapest Hotel||M. Dino|
|2009||The Unusuals||Customer||Episode: “Pilot”|
|2013||The Carrie Diaries||The Sikh||Episodes: “Pilot”
“The Great Unknown”
In February 2016, Ahluwalia stated he was barred from boarding an Aeroméxico flight secondary to his turban and that therefore he was delayed from flying home to attend New York Fashion Week. He called for education and cultural sensitivity at the Mexico City International Airport with regard to Sikh and other religious headwear.