Congratulations! How did the collaboration with Endstate come about?
Last summer, we received an email from the Endstate team, reaching out to us with a proposal for a potential collaboration, after having done their research on the Indian designerwear market. They felt that our brand would be a great fit for such a collaboration. Thereafter, I was in New York in the summer, so I met the team there and we hit it off really well and the rest is history. We worked for one year over Zoom calls, WhatsApp and email and that’s how the collaboration took shape and materialised.
Can you explain the concept of tech-enabled sneakers?
The Payal Singhal x Endstate Sneakers are embedded with an NFC chip, providing verifiable authenticity as well as unlocking access to exclusive content, offers and events for sneaker owners with just the tap of their phone.
They look so cool! How did the design collaboration happen in terms of what the collection would look like?
Endstate co-founder and former Nike and New Balance designer, Stephanie Howard, and I, discussed certain ideas and decided that we wanted something inspired by India but global in look and feel. With that moodboard in mind, the sneakers were designed to merge East-West and historic-contemporary cultures.

Do you have a favourite pair?
Yes, I’m partial to the Black and White sneaker as it represents the meeting of East and West beautifully to me! Having said that, the Silver pair is also amazing and we have received great response to that design as well. Both sneakers, truly representing a unisex demand for luxury fashion.
Have you tried a tech-enabled shoe before this?
No, this was a first even for me, and I was super excited to know that something like this can unlock authenticity as well as perks from the brand, giving the customers that invaluable feeling of being a part of this limited edit drop and staying closely associated with both brands.

Are you big on tech yourself?
I’m kind of in the middle. I love old school traditional methods, so adapting to tech is definitely something I struggle with, but I also love to keep up with what’s new and all the new developments in technology. So, I do use and try to work with as many tools / gadgets as I need to at work and even for leisure.

Besides your phone, what is your second most used gadget?
For me, it’s going to be the television. I know it’s a bit old school tech, but I love to watch all my entertainment on a television versus an iPad or a mobile device.

What makes for a dream collaboration?
When two designers or brands with diverse ideas, backgrounds and products align for a collaborative design vision, that makes for a dream collaboration and that’s what happened with Endstate! It’s simple logic that when two entities come together bringing their respective know-how and strengths, the combination is exciting. The consumer is able to see an offering which is differentiated, gives more value and brings together the power of the two/three brands that collaborate.

Your dream design collaboration would be..
I would love to collaborate with another clothing designer from India with a different point of view, to do a unique collection with both our aesthetics coming through in the collaborative line.

What else is in the pipeline?
We have another tech collaboration which is soon to be launched with Urbn, a high-tech lifestyle brand, which is a leader in the charging and audio categories. We will be launching a range of power banks and cables with our designs and the Urbn legacy of technology and product quality. Right after that, we have worked on a very interesting collaboration in the fashion accessories space with Myaraa by Namrata Lodha, and will be launching a collection of designer hats. Both collaborations are very exciting and close to my heart and will be launching very soon. Do look out for them!