Having dignity in one’s style is not something you can buy, it comes from a thoughtfulness in how you consume. Authenticity means something of undiluted origin, and Waris feels that we have gone so far astray that we do not feel a connection to anything, like our closet or our food, and it leaves a void. He is regal and unassuming in his signature turban because he wears it as a daily reminder of the egalitarian values of his Sikh roots. “There’s an equality among the sexes, male, female, and races…everyone’s equal…everyone is that religious figure, that royalty. Everyone has that direct connection to God, or the universe and is spiritual,” Waris says of his religion. The mission, the goals, the craft of who he buys from mean as much to him as the appearance of their products. Waris’ pink suede shoes are the only kind he wears, so much so that the designer, George Esquivel, has named them “The Waris.” The color, that was originally made only for women, looks rich with all of Waris’ various uniforms of denim, khaki and luxe tweeds, and say a lot about how genuinely distinctive he is without having to scream it.
Being From a small city, Amritsar, in the foothills of the Himalayans, until he moved to NYC at the age of five, has given Waris a deep connection to his roots and a strong identity. But having a sense of tradition does not mean that he is anti-progress. Commerce for him is just not without a philosophical idea behind it, “I love spending and going to really nice places….so it’s very, in fact, pro-capitalism, very pro… just this idea of that’s your vote, that’s your dollar, your yen, your pound, your vote,” he states, “it’s a respect for ideals.” Humbly inspired by love and history, Waris doesn’t profess to know about either, he produces his jewelry designs in places that are ancient kingdoms, like India, Thailand and Italy. Sitting on top of layers of the past inspires Waris. Similar in it’s consideration, Waris picks the fabric that his tailor uses to make his suits, he knows where his organic eggs come from and he purposefully supports that farmer, wears a simple steel bracelet for its representation of purity and his friend’s APC jeans, for being the real McCoy in fit and quality. Uncontrived, comfortable in her skin and elegant is how Waris describes his mother; super-natural and super-chic is how he describes his father, and all of the above is how I would characterize him. There is no substitute for being conscious, how you feel about what you are wearing and how you are living, shows.