New Delhi: He is the only Indian in Vanity Fair`s Best Dressed List this year and Waris Ahluwalia, crowned the `The Punk Maharaja` by the American media, wants to make a grand homecoming with a Bollywood movie. Jewellery designer, actor, socialite and devout Sikh all rolled into one, Waris has already worked with Hollywood heavyweights like Dustin Hoffman and Adrien Brody among others and has now set his sights on Mumbai.
"I would love to do a Bollywood film but am yet to receive an offer.I`m an actor. If you have a part that works for me I`m pretty easy to find," Waris said in an interview. The 35-year-old was born in Amritsar and moved to the US at the age of five.
Waris who now lives and works between New York, Italy and Jaipur is a regular on Manhattan`s party circuit. The stylish Sikh, who was described by Vanity Fair as the "perfect example of ``East meets West``", has varied acting credits including Wes Anderson`s Oscar nominated `The Royal Tenenbaums` and the Indian sojourn `Darjeeling Limited`.
But despite his turban and beard look, Waris says that he has never been stereotyped in Hollywood. "Everyone likes to put people in categories, whether its Hollywood, Bollywood or the media in general.
Whenever I meet agents their big concern is that I`ll be stereotyped. Well, I haven`t been stereotyped yet.
"Some of the roles I`ve played; camera man, a bank hostage, a Republican, a hypo-chondriac, none of these roles called for an Indian," said Waris whose staples include, tailored suits from Savile Row and shoes handmade in California. Beside cinema, his other passion is jewellery and Waris owns the House of Waris, a high-end brand of bling which retails at stores like Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys.
In his 20s, before the inception of House of Waris, he tried to compile a book, open a restaurant, produce an album and co-produce a movie, none of which saw the light of day. He finally found his calling during a trip to Jaipur and has not looked back since.
And Waris says that his designs are a mirror to his life`s philosophy; to go back to the simple things of life and nature. "Its time to turn back to a simpler way of living.
To connect with what we consume and not just clothes. I buy my produce from local farmers.
My shoes are hand made in California, the suits and shirts by tailors around the world, including one in India, Raja Vinodh Sadh from East West Designers in Jaipur. My work involves finding the best craftsmen and so does my life," said Waris who credits his mother for his sartorial sense.
"My mother is an elegant woman by her very nature. She does everything with style and grace and does it effortlessly.
So it is in my genes so to say," said Waris.