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Karishma Swali

Managing Director & Creative Director, Chanakya International

As a supplier of fine embroideries to global luxury brands and couture houses, she preserves traditional Indian textile crafts while training the next generation of artisans.


Karishma Swali is the managing director and creative director of Chanakya International and the Chanakya School of Craft. Through her Mumbai-based export atelier, she has worked to promote the preservation and revival of some of India’s finest textile crafts and surface ornamentation techniques, often reinterpreting them for modern designs. Her family firm has supplied embroideries and other handcrafted embellishments to global luxury brands and couture houses including Christian Dior, Fendi, Gucci, Prada, Valentino and Lanvin.  

Having worked for over 25 years exploring and innovating India’s craft traditions, she has helped shine a light on the contributions that the country’s highly skilled artisans make in the global luxury industry. Swali has also accelerated the company’s adoption of rapid prototyping and computer aided design and, through its not-for-profit academy, empowered low-income women to become master artisans. A graduate of India’s National Institute of Fashion Technology, she holds a master's in business administration from the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies.

Vital Statistics

20 May 1977


Member since

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What is The BoF 500?

The people shaping the global fashion industry, curated by the editors of The Business of Fashion, based on nominations and on-the-ground intelligence from around the world.