The Grown-Up Q&A: Waris Ahluwalia

If you’re a Wes Anderson fan, you’re sure to recognize Waris Ahluwalia. What you may not know about the Darjeeling Limited and Life Aquatic star is that he’s also the driving force behind one of the most acclaimed jewelry makers in the world, House of Waris. Here, the multi-talented artist talks style, friendship, and what it means to be a grown-up.

BB Man: Is there a moment or a time in your life when you first felt like a grown-up?

Ahluwalia: Still waiting for it. It's bound to happen any day now.

BB Man: What's your motivation when you get dressed every morning? How would you describe your style?

Ahluwalia: I approach my personal style the same way I do my work: I find the best craftsmen and learn about them and their work. I choose the materials of my suits and shirts. I also choose the material of my shoes: pink suede every time, so that one is easy. There is uniform-like simplicity to my style.

BB Man: What article of clothing should every man own?

Ahluwalia: A good black suit and jeans that fit well can take you a long way.

BB Man: What article of clothing should a man never wear?

Ahluwalia: That's up to each man to decide. If you wear it with confidence, that's all that matters.

BB Man: What do you hope to convey through your line? And what are your inspirations?

Ahluwalia: First and foremost, I'm a storyteller. That's all I'm doing. Telling stories. Sometimes in gold, sometimes in film, and now in cashmere. Storyteller and explorer—that's what I am. My inspiration has always been love and history. But we must be clear, I never claim to understand either of those two. This is my search for a better understanding.

BB Man: What’s the most important thing to consider when buying a piece of jewelry for yourself? How about for someone else?

Ahluwalia: Educate yourself. Knowing who you buy from is as relevant as who you buy for. It's all tied together. It's consumerism that's just a little more considered. It's a little more thoughtful. I know I can't fight mass consumption and creation—but I can support an alternative way that can sit alongside those goods.

BB Man: What's one specific style practice or staple that you'd like to see make a come back?

Ahluwalia: Kindness.

BB Man: Who was your hero (or style icon) when you were a kid?

David Niven in Around the World in 80 Days. It's a fantastic film on its own. As a bonus, David Niven's character, Phileas Fogg, is impeccably dressed in every scene. Always crisp regardless of any scuffles and bumps in the road. If one looks like a gentleman perhaps one will behave like one. Kris Kristofferson in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore represents another version of a gentleman. More rugged, but no less iconic.

BB Man: What's one skill every grown man should have?

Ahluwalia: Communication.

Read our entire Birchbox Man Grown-Up Interview series here.

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