SWIATLO: “LIGHT, TO ILLUMINATE” IN POLISH. SWIATLO was founded in 2019 by Parsons alumni Liz Hartman Sitaraman shortly after she met her husband Ashwath on Tinder in New Delhi and left her life in NYC to live with him in India. However, a deep love for Indian craft and culture had sparked three years prior when Liz took a break from corporate life at Ralph Lauren in NYC to visit Ahmedabad, Gujarat and learn about craft textiles. What was supposed to be a one month trip turned into 6 months and a lifelong textile love affair. As an avid seamstress since childhood with a passion for sewing and painting, Liz felt drawn to the intrinsic eco-awareness of Indian craft and the warm vibrancy of Indian culture inspiring this venture with these magical textiles. SWIATLO is slow intentional fashion, combining the colorful intricacy of Indian craft with easy modern silhouettes, supporting our skilled artisans to offer you glamorous seasonless forever pieces you'll feel excited to wear again and again.
Liz and Ashwath currently split their time between NYC and New Delhi with their cat Kimchi and their dog Fred.
March 22 2020: Our big lockdown South Indian Tamil wedding, a date set months prior which ended up falling on the Janta Curfew enacted in the beginning days of the pandemic.
SWIATLO is a mission-driven international fashion brand based between New York and New Delhi. We are passionate about colorful Indian textiles and upcycling, educational cultural exchange + supporting the women makers and artisan craftspeople who make up our supply chain.
MasterG centers around India train women for highly-skilled careers such as master tailoring and entrepreneurship. Gradutes will often open and run their own satellite units from which MasterG will commission client projects such as our 2022 blockprinted City Slip dresses.
Women Fiber to Fashion
Women Fiber to Fashion is an NGO stitching unit in Delhi employing survivors of human trafficking. They participate in skills training and find livelihood through the organization. WFTF beautifully crafts all our upcycled saree kaftans.
Ajrakh is a special form of hand block printing from the Sindhi region, a technique dating back three thousand years, in the remote Kutchi desert area of Gujarat, Western India. Our ajrakh fabrics for POLYCHRONIC were created by artisan printer Afzel Khatri.
We see previously used and discarded textiles as a vessel for stories and intrigue which we then stitch together anew. Our patchworked pieces are made from a colorful motley crew of recycled fabrics and deadstock blockprints from small shops. Our ongoing JOYFUL MOVEMENT collection is crafted from sarees.
Delhi is home to a plethora of international fabric suppliers. Often they end up with extra or unordered fabric in their storage areas which we happily take off their hands. Our black corduroy fabrics from POLYCHRONIC are deadstock meters.