Waris Ahluwalia

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Waris Ahluwalia
Born1974 (age 44–45)
OccupationDesigner, actor
Years active2004–present
Websitehouseofwaris.com Edit this at Wikidata

Waris Singh Ahluwalia (born 1974) is a Sikh 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.[1] 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.[2]

Early life[edit]

Ahluwalia was born in Amritsar, Punjab, India.[3] When he was only five years old he immigrated to the United States with his family and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He is based in New York City but has also lived in Los Angeles.[4]



House of Waris, founded by Ahluwalia, is strongly influenced by ancient kingdoms.[5]

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.[6] He was a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalist in 2009, and in 2010 he was inducted as a member of the CFDA.[7] 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.[8][9][10] He also pens the column 'Love & Waris' on Style.com.[11]

In October 2010, House of Waris opened a pop up tea room under the High Line.[12] The pavilion of the pop up space housed apparel and accessories, and jewellery by Ahluwalia.[13]

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.[14]

Collaborations/special projects[edit]

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.[15][16][17] 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.[18][19][20]

In response to the Mumbai attack 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.[21] All of the proceeds went to Taj Public Service Welfare Trust in conjunction with Mumbai: We Got Your Back! (WGYB!), an organization founded by the three editors.[22][23]

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.[24] Ahluwalia also collaborated with the world-renowned restaurant from New Delhi, BUKHARA.[25] The restaurant opened an exclusive pop up in London at the Sheraton Park Tower in which Ahluwalia served as Creative Director.[26] The pop up ran for two weeks and donated a portion of the proceeds obtained to support the Elephant Family non-profit organization.[27]

As a part of his role as Global Ambassador for Starwood's Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts, Ahluwalia wrote and produced the 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).[28][29]

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 including Phillip Andelman, Casey Neistat, Brett Stabler, Ben Watts, Hailey Gates, John Forté, Mick Rock, and Matthew Frost.[30][31]

Ahluwalia collaborated with Illesteva Eyewear on a line of sunglasses that were launched in April 2013.[32] The sunglasses are made in France and are available in four colors.[33]


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.[34] 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.



Year Title Role Notes
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
2012 Missed Connections Pradeep
2014 The Grand Budapest Hotel M. Dino
2015 Beeba Boys Manny
2018 Ocean's 8 Himself


Year Title Role Notes
2009 The Unusuals Customer Episode: "Pilot"
2013 The Carrie Diaries The Sikh Episodes: "Pilot"
"The Great Unknown"
2019 Russian Doll Wardog Episode: "The Great Escape"

Turban-related incident in Mexico City[edit]

In February 2016, Ahluwalia stated he was barred from boarding an Aeroméxico flight due 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.[35]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "House of Waris". Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  2. ^ Interview, SicChic (2007).
  3. ^ Pfeiffer, Alice (20 March 2011). "Traditional Jewelry Turned on Its Head". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  4. ^ "Waris Ahluwalia | Sikh Entrepreneur". www.sikhentrepreneur.com. Retrieved 2017-11-23.
  5. ^ "Waris Ahluwalia". Hall London. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
  6. ^ "CFDA Member | Waris Ahluwalia". Council of Fashion Designers of America. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  7. ^ "Waris Ahluwalia". Showstudio. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  8. ^ Little, Jaclyn. "A Year in the Best Dressed Life of Waris Ahluwalia". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  9. ^ "Best Dressed International Men". British GQ. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  10. ^ "The Impact List of 2010". Vogue. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  11. ^ "Love and Waris". Style.com. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  12. ^ Nerenberg, Jenara. "Wes Anderson's Pal Waris Ahluwalia Pops Tea Room Under NYC Highline". Fast Company. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  13. ^ Green, Grace (6 October 2010). "House of Waris Opens Pop-Up Tea Shop". Huffington post. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  14. ^ Whitworth, Melissa (11 February 2011). "Waris Ahluwalia: jewellery designer, style icon and Hollywood actor". London: Fashion Telegraph. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  15. ^ "HOUSE of WARIS for Forevermark". Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  16. ^ Holgate, Mark. "House of Waris and Tilda Swinton Work Together on a Pringle of Scotland Project".
  17. ^ "House of Waris Collaborations". Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  18. ^ Parr, Christopher. "Waris Ahluwalia's House of Waris". The Pursuitist.
  19. ^ Whitworth, Melissa (11 February 2011). "Waris Ahluwalia: jewellery designer, style icon and Hollywood actor". London: Fashion Telegraph.
  20. ^ Sowray, Bibby (2 May 2013). "Moda Operandi unveil exclusive Punk collection". London: Fashion Telegraph. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  21. ^ "To India with Love". Amazon. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  22. ^ "To India with Love". Assouline. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  23. ^ Grieve, Cayte. "Society Says: Mumbai, We Got Your Back". BlackBook Mag. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  24. ^ Wunsch, Noah. "Watch: Issue 201 in Action!". The Paris Review. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  25. ^ "BUKHARA Pop Up Restaurant in London". Cherie City. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  26. ^ "The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts and ITC Hotels Bring BUKHARA, India's Most Coveted Culinary Experience, to London for Two Weeks". Starwood Hotels and Resorts. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  27. ^ "Indian high cuisine restaurant Bukhara pops up in London for just two weeks". Eastwind. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  28. ^ Mau, Dhani. "Watch: Agyness Deyn Plays a Hitchcock Heroine in Waris Ahluwalia's New Short Film". Fashionista. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  29. ^ "The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts Premieres 'HERE', an Original Short Film Capturing an Unexpected Journey Across America". Starwood Hotels and Resorts. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  30. ^ "Hey Boo, Love Your New House of Waris Necklace". The Standard. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  31. ^ "House of Waris channel". Youtube. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  32. ^ Hartman, Eviana (2 April 2013). "Shades On | House of Waris and Illesteva". T Magazine. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  33. ^ "Don't Look Us in the Eye". Zoe Report. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  34. ^ "Waris Ahluwalia". IMDB. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  35. ^ Darius Johnson and Catherine E. Shoichet (February 8, 2016). "Sikh actor Waris Ahluwalia: Aeromexico kicked me off flight for wearing turban". CNN. Retrieved February 8, 2016.

External links[edit]