Waris Ahluwalia, the face on the poster, face on the brand, face everyone now knows and the face some are being racist about.
Mr Waris Ahluwalia, the face of Gap, the face that has been globally becoming a major talking point for the good and for the bad. Good because it is a Sikh man with a turban and a beard doing something extraordinary by being a model, the face of a major branded company named GAP. It has been bad because many people have been racial and abusive towards him and GAP for their marketing advertisement.
The tagline for the picture that states ‘Make Love’, had been vandalised in New York by an ignorant and racist person who graffiti spray painted it as ‘Make Bombs’ leading to stereotyping a Sikh man and his identity. Mr Waris is not ashamed for his efforts in being the face of the brand and nor should he be. It is fantastic to have any brown person breaking barriers and doing something as big as this in a world where Asians are being pushed aside and branded as terrorists because of what goes around in todays world.
The vandalism on the GAP ad stated “Make Bombs” & “Please stop driving taxis”. The picture was tweeted by Iftikhar and GAP were quick to take actions by tweeting Iftikhar to tweet them the location where he had seen this. But GAP made sure to support the Sikh man being the face of the company by quickly publishing the poster as their twitter background picture to show solidarity and support. This goes to show how GAP stand by their judgement and decision in making Mr Waris the face despite the negativity and racism surrounding it by those who involve racism because of the way one looks.
Mr Waris is a well-known figure in the fashion industry. He designs the celestial jewellery label House of Waris that has earned him the prestigious CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund nomination in 2009 as well as obtaining the official membership with the CFDA. Waris maintains his traditional cultural values in his presentation through his turban and long beard, adding that with the blend of the latest menswear fashion in fitted tailored blazer suits looking suited and booted.
A man who has worked hard for himself and has come far in many ways to achieving his goal just proves that the world still is going backwards with many people having the same mentality of branding any man or woman as a terrorist only because of the way they look and their skin colour. To make matters worse, those who accuse these racial abuses are the ones who tend to spark the igniting fire of hatred and arguments in the society we live in today.
Waris also made a cameo appearance recently in the “Big Hugs” video by Cynthia Rowley
Waris also played the role of Vikram Walia in the movie “Inside Man”
Jasmeet Singh Panesar