Kids Corner

Images: details from painting by Konstantin Kakanias.


Modern-Day Marco Polo:
Waris Singh Ahluwalia





Think of Waris Singh Ahluwalia, the jeweler, actor and man-about-every-town, as a modern-day Marco Polo, bringing back implements of leisure from foreign ports of call: Morocco, Bali, India, Sweden, Lebanon.

Next month, he opens his House of Waris Rare shop inside the library of Venice’s lavish Gritti Palace hotel.

“I’m not just interested in well-designed trophies,” he says. “Whatever we stock should serve an actual purpose.”

He steers away from comparisons to Paris’s Deyrolle or any upscale curiosity boutique, talking instead about revisiting ancient trade routes. In some ways this project is the culmination of a three-year expedition he began with the Luxury Collection, which owns the hotel and commissioned Waris as its global explorer.

Everything sold at the shop -- engraved tumblers hand-blown in Murano, vintage Fortuny fabrics fashioned into stuffed animals -- is the type of affectionate object one might imagine, say, Ernest Hemingway gifting his mistress.

Waris has stocked the shop with unique goods from artisans both emerging and established, including his own fine jewelry.

“You can’t just ogle and awe,” he says about these collectibles. “You must engage as a patron. It’s not just the items that are unique -- so too are the people who make them.”


[Courtesy: T Magazine. Edited for]

November 3, 2013

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