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Sumit Sawhney: Redefining Silver Jewelry Craftsmanship

by Madonna

Maple Ridge, BC – Crafting jewelry takes on a deeper meaning for Sumit Sawhney, the creative mind behind Apala by Sumit. Since 2006, his brand has been at the forefront of silver craftsmanship, producing striking and innovative pieces. Drawing inspiration from an eclectic mix of sources, including spirituality, travel, art, museum visits, and photography, Sawhney’s creations stand as a testament to his boundary-pushing approach.

In a recent development, Apala by Sumit has forged a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Culture, marking a significant partnership in the Aatman Project. This initiative, aimed at empowering artisans and promoting Indian handicrafts, aligns perfectly with the brand’s core values. The brand’s exquisite jewelry will be showcased at the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Centre for Design (ABCD) within the historic Red Fort in Delhi.


In an exclusive interview with Solitaire International, Sumit Sawhney shares his remarkable journey as a designer spanning 17 years.


Q: What inspired you to start a jewelry brand focusing solely on silver?

Sawhney’s journey into silver jewelry began with an understanding that silver, despite its intrinsic beauty, had not yet found its rightful place in the market. Armed with hands-on training in jewelry manufacturing and education from renowned institutions like GIA and JDTI, he recognized the untapped potential of silver.


He noted that until the 21st century, silver jewelry in India had a niche appeal, primarily attracting artsy individuals and college-goers. However, Sawhney saw beyond this limited scope. Silver’s malleability allowed for intricate textures, coatings, and patinas, offering the look of high-end gold pieces at a more affordable price point.

In 2006, Sawhney founded Apala by Sumit to cater to the burgeoning demand in India for contemporary luxury jewelry and to cater to international markets seeking stunning Indian treasures. Today, the brand is renowned for its eclectic jewelry concepts, fusion styles, and offerings that span bridal, Victorian, workwear, world-art-inspired, tribal, and avant-garde silver jewelry.

Q: How do Apala’s collections reflect cultural and symbolic aspects associated with silver?

Apala’s designs are deeply rooted in India’s rich cultural heritage. They draw inspiration from Indian art forms, architecture, royal eras, tribal culture, textiles, and mythology. Traditional jewelry manufacturing techniques like rawa (granulation), kundan setting, enameling, chitrai (repousse), and filigree are employed to reimagine these elements in contemporary compositions. The brand’s designs are a celebration of heritage presented in a fresh manner, imbuing each piece with meaning and timelessness.

Q: Tell us more about your collaboration with Project Aatman.

Apala by Sumit’s collaboration with Project Aatman, initiated by the Ministry of Culture, involves curating and displaying jewelry at the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Centre for Design at the Red Fort in Delhi. This collaboration underscores the government’s commitment to promoting indigenous crafts, supporting artisans, and creating sustainable livelihoods.

Q: What unique design elements or techniques does Apala use to set itself apart in the competitive jewelry market?

Innovation is at the core of Apala’s design philosophy. The brand constantly seeks fresh and unique designs to cater to evolving customer preferences. Most of their jewelry is crafted by hand, collaborating with artisans from across India to add distinct character to each piece.

The brand sources gemstones from around the world, handpicking each for quality, color, and brilliance. Sumit Sawhney and his team maintain a hands-on approach throughout production, ensuring exacting standards of quality and creativity.

Additionally, Apala proactively registers each design to protect its creative work, allowing swift action against design infringers and maintaining design integrity.

The brand is dedicated to delivering original, high-quality, and culturally resonant jewelry.

Q: Your design signature is distinct. How did you develop this style?

Sawhney’s signature style, characterized by vibrant gemstones and bold shapes, has evolved from his early days as an art student to an experienced jewelry designer. His deep appreciation for beauty, form, and visual harmony, honed during his time as an art student, enriched his design sensibilities.

Remaining true to his vision while remaining versatile in his designs has been instrumental in creating his signature style. His forward-thinking approach, considering trends ahead of time, ensures that his creations remain ahead of the curve.

Sawhney’s passionate clientele also plays a significant role in shaping his style, motivating him to deliver extraordinary yet wearable designs that stand out in the competitive world of jewelry.


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