Waris Ahluwalia

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Waris Ahluwalia
Born1974 (age 45–46)
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 isn't primarily a jewellery designer, but he has designed several pieces.[6] He, 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.[7] He was a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalist in 2009, and in 2010 he was inducted as a member of the CFDA.[8] 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.[9][10][11] He also pens the column "Love & Waris" on Style.com.[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]

In 2013 Ahluwalia started House of Waris Rare, a chain of boutiques, and celebrated its opening in the Gritti Palace in Venice.[34][35]

As one of the most photographed men in the city, he modeled for GAP in 2013.[36][37]

In 2019 he opened a pop up tea room House of Waris Botanicals under the High Line.[38] The tea house is located in Chelsea.[39]


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.[40] 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.[41]


In 2010 Ahluwalia was listed as one the International Best-Dressed List´s honorees in New York Coty and Jaipur resident.[42]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "House of Waris". Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  2. ^ Interview, SicChic (2007).
  3. ^ Pfeiffer, Alice (March 20, 2011). "Traditional Jewelry Turned on Its Head". The New York Times. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
  4. ^ "Waris Ahluwalia | Sikh Entrepreneur". www.sikhentrepreneur.com. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  5. ^ "Waris Ahluwalia". Hall London. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
  6. ^ Morris, Bob (December 11, 2013). "Waris Ahluwalia: A Ubiquitous Presence, However Unlikely". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  7. ^ "CFDA Member | Waris Ahluwalia". Council of Fashion Designers of America. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
  8. ^ "Waris Ahluwalia". Showstudio. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  9. ^ Little, Jaclyn. "A Year in the Best Dressed Life of Waris Ahluwalia". Vanity Fair. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  10. ^ "Best Dressed International Men". British GQ. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  11. ^ "The Impact List of 2010". Vogue. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  12. ^ "Love and Waris". Style.com. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  13. ^ Green, Grace (October 6, 2010). "House of Waris Opens Pop-Up Tea Shop". Huffington post. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  14. ^ Whitworth, Melissa (February 11, 2011). "Waris Ahluwalia: jewellery designer, style icon and Hollywood actor". London: Fashion Telegraph. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  15. ^ "HOUSE of WARIS for Forevermark". Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  16. ^ Holgate, Mark. "House of Waris and Tilda Swinton Work Together on a Pringle of Scotland Project".
  17. ^ "House of Waris Collaborations". Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  18. ^ Parr, Christopher. "Waris Ahluwalia's House of Waris". The Pursuitist.
  19. ^ Whitworth, Melissa (February 11, 2011). "Waris Ahluwalia: jewellery designer, style icon and Hollywood actor". London: Fashion Telegraph.
  20. ^ Sowray, Bibby (May 2, 2013). "Moda Operandi unveil exclusive Punk collection". London: Fashion Telegraph. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  21. ^ "To India with Love". Amazon. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  22. ^ "To India with Love". Assouline. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  23. ^ Grieve, Cayte. "Society Says: Mumbai, We Got Your Back". BlackBook Mag. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  24. ^ Wunsch, Noah. "Watch: Issue 201 in Action!". The Paris Review. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  25. ^ "BUKHARA Pop Up Restaurant in London". Cherie City. Retrieved August 9, 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 August 9, 2013.
  27. ^ "Indian high cuisine restaurant Bukhara pops up in London for just two weeks". Eastwind. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  28. ^ Mau, Dhani. "Watch: Agyness Deyn Plays a Hitchcock Heroine in Waris Ahluwalia's New Short Film". Fashionista. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  29. ^ "The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts Premieres 'HERE', an Original Short Film Capturing an Unexpected Journey Across America". Starwood Hotels and Resorts. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  30. ^ "Hey Boo, Love Your New House of Waris Necklace". The Standard. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  31. ^ "House of Waris channel". Youtube. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  32. ^ Hartman, Eviana (April 2, 2013). "Shades On | House of Waris and Illesteva". T Magazine. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  33. ^ "Don't Look Us in the Eye". Zoe Report. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  34. ^ "House of Waris RARE launch party". Tatler. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  35. ^ "Waris Ahluwalia with the Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts Celebrates Bespoke Craftsmanship with the Debut of "House of Waris RARE"". www.businesswire.com. November 5, 2013. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  36. ^ "Waris Ahluwalia on Indian Identity and That Viral Gap Ad". NBC News. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  37. ^ Hafiz, Yasmine (November 26, 2013). "The Inspiring Way Gap Responded To Racist Graffiti". HuffPost. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  38. ^ Nerenberg, Jenara. "Wes Anderson's Pal Waris Ahluwalia Pops Tea Room Under NYC Highline". Fast Company. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  39. ^ Crowley, Chris (November 26, 2019). "Everything You Need to Know About House of Waris Botanicals". Grub Street. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  40. ^ "Waris Ahluwalia". IMDB. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  41. ^ 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.
  42. ^ Little, Jaclyn. "Photos: A Year in the Best-Dressed Life of Waris Ahluwalia". Vanity Fair. Retrieved May 26, 2020.

External links[edit]