Whistles Icon: Riz Ahmed


From his early roots in low budget indie films to a starring role in the critically acclaimed HBO series ‘The Night Of’, Riz Ahmed is one to watch this year.

Actor, screenwriter, director, activist and rap artist, Riz Ahmed’s list of talents is perhaps surprising for someone who still feels relatively new to Hollywood. With a recent role in the critically acclaimed TV series The Night Of turning Ahmed into an household name, followed by appearances in Star Wars Rogue One and Lena Dunham’s Girls, Ahmed has cemented himself as one of today’s most exciting British actors. Then there is his double life spent moonlighting as a respected underground hip hop artist, releasing mixtapes addressing issues of national identity and mixed heritage under the pseudonym of Riz MC. Couple that with his continuing political activism acting as a voice for the South Asian community, it’s understandable why Ahmed is named as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the World 2017 by TIME Magazine.

Ahmed’s relentless creative energy that drives his work is almost at odds with his personal style, which has a relaxed yet considered quality. In his off-duty moments Riz pairs dark denim with minimalistic black sneakers, and classic crew neck sweaters with timeless leather varsity jackets. His ability to nail transitional dressing chimes well with the temperamental spring weather - so take styles cues from Riz and wear light jackets layered over zip-up turtlenecks and finish off with straight cut trousers and the perennial baseball cap.

His modern approach to red carpet dressing is unconventional: cotton suits are paired with jersey polos, and deconstructed check suits are styled with white shirting (note the lack of tie) and tan moccasins. For a smarter take on suiting, Ahmed opts for a classic tuxedo in a bold steel blue accessorised with a bow tie. These are sartorial lessons to take note from.

The current cover star of TIME magazine and starring in the new film City of Tiny Lights (out now), Riz Ahmed is someone to keep on your radar for 2017 and beyond.