The New York-based multi-hyphenate showcases pieces from his exclusive edit and talks about standing out from the crowd, personal style and raising the community.
Creative Direction by Robert Rabensteiner.
Interview by Danielle Radojcin.
Photographs by Dylan Don.
In the early 2000s, Waris Ahluwalia, the designer and actor, was due to join his friend, the filmmaker Wes Anderson, on a research trip in Rajasthan for The Darjeeling Limited. At the same time, the director Spike Lee required his presence in New York for the premiere of the film Inside Man, in which he featured.
Rather than offend either director, Ahluwalia did both. ‘I’d missed the train from Delhi but managed to hop the train at Jaipur at dawn, just as it was pulling out of the station.’ He remembers entering the sleeper cabin he and Anderson were sharing, a crack of light piercing the darkness. ‘“Waris, is that you?” Wes said, blinking in the light and putting on his glasses.’
Ahluwalia, a New Yorker adored by the fashion industry for his refined style and love of a good party, has, at various points in his career, been everything from a designer to a nature conservationist. ‘Not having a focus has actually been my strongest suit,’ he says.
On his globetrotting adventures, he meets all kinds of people – they adore him and want to collaborate. ‘He can go anywhere and make it his comfort zone,’ says his friend and regular travel companion, the designer Haider Ackermann. An example of Ahluwalia’s gregarious nature is his friendship with Anderson – they met at a peace rally in New York ‘around two decades ago’ and have since collaborated on several films, including The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and The Grand Budapest Hotel.