Art forms and architecture have always found space in designer Payal Singhal's moodboard. Her recent collection, Painterly, for instance, featured pieces that celebrated abstract art as well as miniature Mughal paintings.

Her spring-summer 2022 collection, Folklore, meanwhile, focused on the Otomi embroidery from Mexico, kantha of Bengal, kashidakari of Kashmir and phulkari of Punjab, resulting in a poetic cross-medley of ideas and influences.

Over the years, each of her collection exhibits her love for the arts, architecture, crafts and travels. Small wonder then she picked Mumbai's art and culture district, Kala Ghoda, to open her new flagship store. Designed by Laila Malpani, the new store is spread across 750 sq.ft.

In an interview, the designer talks about the new store, her design journey and more. Edited excerpts:

This is your third store in Mumbai. What made you pick Kala Ghoda?
Over the years, Kala Ghoda has become the pulse of the city’s cultural zeitgeist—a melting pot of art, culture, fashion and food. In the last couple of years, it has also claimed the mantle of the city’s design hub, making it a natural choice for us. With this store, we are now easily accessible to key neighbourhoods across the city, Khar, Altamount Road and Kala Ghoda.

How was the process of conceptualising the store?
During the pandemic, my collections took a more colourful turn as an antidote to the tough times we were in. In the past couple of months, I have gone back to my original palette of soft pastels and vintage-inspired hues. The store mirrors this shift in my sensibility. It has been dressed in our signature old rose pink and soft grey with rose gold accents. Modern Art Deco references are coupled with an intimate approach to design, making the overall ambience inviting and accessible. The entire experience is meant to be an immersive walk into the world of PS—from the jasmine fragrance, my favourite, to all the editions of the in-house magazine PS Diary as well as collectible coffee table books by my grand-uncle, renowned artist and photographer J.P. Singhal, that patrons can browse through.

You’ve been doing trunk shows across the US, from Los Angeles to New Jersey How’s the response been?
The response is always overwhelming. We have been working with our NRI clients all over the world since the launch of the brand and have built a very strong PS community, especially in America. The brand resonates with their global sensibilities.

You’ve struck many memorable collaborations in furnishings and tech space. What are the key attributes you look for in a collaborator?
We look for like-minded collaborators beyond the world of fashion. We are always partnering with brands that have a similar ethos, design sensibility and work ethic in new spheres to extend the universe of the brand. We currently have collaborations in tech accessories, jewellery, hair accessories, footwear, home furnishing and floral arrangements.

How has been your transition into menswear?
We launched menswear in 2018 and it has been an upward trajectory ever since. The offerings for men have only gotten wider over the years. It’s for the modern, metropolitan man, who doesn’t shy away from colours and prints. A lot of our menswear comes with an athleisure twist, which is a big favourite among our PS Men.

The Indian resort and bridal market has always had similar offerings given the safe taste of the demographics. Do you see shoppers warming up to experimental and edgy styles like new silhouettes and cuts?
Our customer has always been experimental and individualistic. We’ve been doing concept saris, iterations of the traditional blouses, experimental skirts and modern anarkalis since the very beginning. It’s not a newfound change in our lexicon. Our brand DNA is steeped in a contemporary viewpoint of classic Indian occasionwear, and it’s what our customers come to us for.