Designer and actor Waris Ahahluwalia is getting noticed for his first-of-its kind appearance in Gap’s new holiday ad campaign. The Wall Street Journal’s “20 Odd Questions for Waris Ahluwalia” doesn’t mention the ads or ask Waris about Gap clothing. But the interview by Jenni Avins does offer glimpses of his life and interests and even more reasons to love the groundbreaking fashion icon.
1. He’s a Jack Of All Trades
In his 20s, Waris didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life. He worked on various projects and got to know the city’s arts community before appearing in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and launching his design label House of Waris. “The way people experiment with drugs and sexuality, I’ve experimented with careers.” One job he’d like to try is “being a cowboy.”
2. Dal is His Dish
As “Global Explorer” for the Luxury Collection, a group of more than 75 hotels in 30 countries, Waris is no stranger to world cuisines and fine dining. His signature dish is none other than the South Asian food staple, dal. He says he’s got the dish down but endearingly admits that he still likes to check in with mom “every time” he makes it and pretend that he doesn’t know how to make it.
3. His Turban is Always Black
“Mine is always black, but it doesn’t have to be. My uncle matches his to his ties.” His clothes may have changed from “lots of heavy metal T-shirts” in his teen years to suits and ties or jeans these days. But Waris says one thing he wears every day is his turban, and he keeps it classic in black.
4. But He’ll Take His Boots in Pink
Handmade in California, shoes designed by George Esquivel are the “only shoes” Waris says he wears. The style is called — what else? — Waris, and while anyone with enough cash can buy a pair of Esquivel boots, the dusty pink color is made just for him. You can catch him wearing the boots in this video of him roaming through Europe, North Africa and the US.
5. He’s a Perfect Gentleman
Chivalry is not going out of style, as far as Waris is concerned. For him, being a perfect gentleman means “going back to tradition.” He says, “My favorite thing about Bill Murray is he gets up every time a woman gets up from the table or sits down.”
Read the rest of the interview with Waris over at The Wall Street Journal.