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priya ahluwalia

The menswear designer heads to Tooting Broadway for her brows, parties under Vauxhall arches and can’t stop accumulating handbags

Home is…

South-west London. I must be the only designer who doesn’t live east.

Best place for a first date?

In the summer, I think a nice first date would be to take out a rowing boat on The Serpentine and have a picnic — it would be quite funny and disarming.

What’s your favourite
beauty spot?

Tooting Broadway! I always get my hair and eyebrows done there. There are so many good independent salons to choose from, especially if you have Afro hair.

Tooting Broadway

Most memorable meal?

When I went to Asia de Cuba with my mum and stepdad. The food and cocktails were delicious. The photography on the walls was incredible — I still have the photos I took there on my phone. It’s a shame it’s closed down.

What’s your London secret?

I don’t necessarily think it’s a secret but I’d say Southall. It’s the best place to get authentic Punjabi food; it’s a special place to me and reminds me of my childhood.


Where would you most like to be buried?

Nowhere! I prefer the idea of a cremation.

What would you do if you were Mayor for the day?

Make travel free for everyone and put air-conditioning units in all the Tubes. Nothing crazy but something that’s so important to the economic balance of people’s lives.

If you could buy any building in London, which would it be?

Literally any Notting Hill townhouse with period features would be a dream for me. I’d move in with my best friends and have dinner parties every weekend.

Which podcast are you currently obsessed with?

I’m Not A Monster, which is about an American woman who went to Syria to join Isis, and Bed Of Lies, which is about undercover police officers who got into serious relationships with their marks. Both are crazy and full of plot twists.

What’s your biggest extravagance?

Handbags. I have an amazing selection, including some Prada, Gucci and Loewe pieces.

Favourite hotel?

I don’t get to stay at hotels in London often but I’m a member of Soho House and I love White City House — mainly because there is so much to do there, a great choice of restaurants, a gym that is out of this world, two amazing pools and a cinema. Also, the beds are huge — I love a huge bed.

What’s the best thing a cabbie has said to you?

A cabbie once clocked off and joined me and my friends for a drink because we got on with him so well.

Ever had a run-in with a London police officer?

Never! I’m an angel.

Where do you go to let your hair down?

I’ve spent many nights dancing under Vauxhall arches. I also like Studio 338, Phonox and Printworks. I miss going out.

Who do you call when you want to have fun?

Alicia Robinson, the creative director of [knitwear brand] AGR. She knows how to party.

Last thing you googled?

Do people ever get rich from pyramid schemes?

The Ahluwalia SS21 collection is available at Matches Fashion, Browns, SSense and LN-CC

Hackney Marshes