For someone who fell into his profession Waris is exceedingly enthusiastic and still committed to his craft full-tilt. “It’s thrilling,” he says. “It’s an adventure every second. It’s a platform to create—I make the boxes, I work with the printer of the book, I work with every aspect. There is not one aspect of my operation I am not directly involved in.” He considers his personal touch his calling card. So much so that when the esteemed boutique Browns of London wanted to preview a collection before they would sell his wares and asked to see a lookbook he refused. He insisted that he arrive personally, meet the owner and buyer and have them hold the pieces. “These things have weight,” he says, and he’s talking more than that which appears on scales. He believes in authenticity, in artisans, and the honor of craftsmanship. He beams with an almost filial pride when talking about the award his same enameller, the young son of an Indian family that has been making enamel for several generations, won for the future-forward technique hand painting he now uses on Waris’s birds.
Waris is to jewelry what a modern-day Brooklyn butcher is to culinaria. He is slow food, organic, atavistic, and obsessed with his ingredients and their sources. In a world of mass production he still makes each of his chains by hand. He is going direct to the source of his gold in Africa—to meet the people who mine it, to get to know them (and be known in return), to be involved. He feels deeply connected to each of his collaborators, be it Zuckerman, Jean Touitou of A.P.C., director Wes Anderson, in whose films Waris is a regular player, or the man who makes his suits. And, in this irony-sodden age, his earnest retro practices are once again cutting edge, proving that values are valuable any time. Summing up his guiding ethic, Waris sounds more like a throwback to a poetic era than a businessman in 2010. “It’s all about romance, “ he says. “The whole damn thing. Romance in every sense: the physical, the emotional, the spiritual. Whether you’re talking Sufi poetry or Rumi or the ladies, it’s all connected. And the first person who has to be romanced is me. If I’m not sold… If it doesn’t feel authentic… I can’t do it. It has to come from some place real. It goes back to the same thing—all I want to do is create stuff. Forget designer, jeweler, whatever; I wish my title was just, ‘maker.’” (read the rest of the article here)