Karishma SwaliArtistic Director, Chanakya International & Chanakya School of Craft

Since 1998, Karishma Swali has led Chanakya International, a global textile house with a four-decade history in the preservation, revival and conservation of India’s cultural heritage. Across her 25-year career, Karishma Swali has worked towards bringing India’s diverse craft traditions to the forefront. In 2016, she established the Chanakya School of Craft, a non-profit foundation and school dedicated to craft, culture, and creating new autonomy for women. The school has educated over 1,000 women to date, forming a community of strong, skilled women. Since 2020, Karishma Swali has collaborated with noted contemporary artists such as Judy Chicago, Eva Jospin, Manu Parekh, Madhvi Parekh, Olesia Trofymenko, Mickalene Thomas, and Marta Roberti. In March 2023, the 25-year partnership between Maria Grazia Chiuri and Karishma Swali resulted in the Dior Fall 2023 couture show in Mumbai and a large-scale installation titled The Toran, symbolising their collective commitment to preserving global artisanal legacies and the emancipation of women.  

In addition to her role at Chanakya, Karishma co-founded the luxury Indian bridal brand - Jade, with Monica Shah as well as the contemporary line, moonray, with her daughter Avantika Swali. Karishma was the recipient of the 2022 Grazia Millennial Award for Contemporary Craftsmanship, named one of the top 10 leaders in the fashion industry by CEO Insights (2021), recognized as a Cultural Ambassador by Asia Society India Centre and has been a member of the BoF500 since 2022. In June 2023, she was invited by President Joe Biden to attend the Washington State Dinner held in honour of India’s Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi. 


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