Culture & Lifestyle / Interview With Designer Payal Singhal

Interview With Designer Payal Singhal

Culture & Lifestyle Aug 04, 2013

“Understated and Unusual” this epitomizes Payal Singhal’s signature style.

Known for her unique designs that combine both eastern and western elements, Singhal has come a long way from winning the coveted “Designer of the Year” award by India’s retail giant Shopper’s Stop at the very young age of 15.

Singhal was born with the creative fashion gene, having a fashion designer in her father. Her path to success materialized with her graduating with fashion degrees from SNDT Women’s University(Mumbai) and the Parsons School of Design and Fashion Institutes of Technology(New York). The beautiful and intricate designs cater to the needs of everyone from party-goers to today’s modern brides, and to children who just can’t help but show-off their hip eastern outfits.

Apart from her success with various collections that feature everything from traditional Indian clothing for the hidden eastern fashionista in all of us, to western outfits for the fashion-savvy New York woman, the Payal Singhal brand soared to new heights by dressing none other than Bollywood heavyweight and former beauty queen AishwaryaRai Bachchan in one of it’s gorgeous outfits.

Actress Aditi Rao Hydari, who has also walked the ramp for Payal Singhal during Lakme Fashion Week 2013, has been seen in the designer’s dresses at numerous occasions, most recently at a success party for the movie Raanjhana. Other Bollystars who have been seen wearing Payal Singhal designs include Kajol, Padmini Kohlapuri, Maria Goretti, Tanisha Mukherjee and Shruti Hassan, among others.

Singhal’s brand continues to grow with a new online shopping portal, that promises to bring an easy and convenient shopping experience to its customers. We had a chance to chat with Singhal on her brand and the tremendous success she has experienced. Read below for what she has to say:

Summer Bride by Payal Singhal/ Payal Singhal 
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You won Shopper Stop’s prestigious ‘Designer Of The Year’ award at the very young age of 15, a rare achievement. What/who inspired you to go into fashion designing at such a tender age. Did you know, as a child, that a career in fashion will be your calling?

It was my father’s dream for me to be a designer and he was the one who pushed me into it and helped me pursue my dream. He was a designer too so I grew up admist fashion but he was married at a young age and had to let his ambitions of being a designer take a back seat. His company did ready to wear Indian and western garments for the local Indian market as well as for exports.               

Your western styles and designs reflect New York fashion, which also happened to be your choice of destination for post-secondary education. Where does this love and passion for the Big Apple come from? Is it a major driving force and inspiration in your designs?

I’ve always said that New York City is my favourite city and everything about the culture, buzz, fashion, architecture inspires my designs. When I design an outfit for my clients, I always mix traditional within a contemporary look and feel. NYC is where I started my brand and it will remain an influence in my collections.

The designer (Left) with Aditi Rao Hydari (Right) showcasing  Payal Singhal creation  at Lakme Fashion week 2013/BCCL

Looking at past fashion weeks that showcased your collections, we see everything from modern western styles in your Erte Collection, to the traditionally beautiful pieces in the aptly titled Umrao Jaan collection. Keeping these in mind, we ask, who would you say is your ultimate target audience?

I try to mix the themes for each collection to not only keep it exciting for my audience but for myself as well. My ultimate target audience women between 20 to 45 years old who are seeking a unique piece in design, cut and silhouette.

'Taj Collection'

Which one of your styles would you say most closely defines you? What is your signature piece/style/design, and why?

My last collection ‘Taj’ is the closest to my personal style and my vision as a designer. I like clothes that are easy to wear yet have some amount of interest and uniqueness so they make people want to see and talk about them. Understated yet unusual is what I would call my signature style.

You have recently launched your e-shopping portal, to make purchase easier for your customers. Why did you feel the need to provide this online shopping experience to your target market, in particular for your traditional eastern designs?

The e-shop was always going to be a natural progression for my brand and I very much felt that I needed to build a platform that allows for accessibility to my collections no matter where you are in the world. We’re so excited about our online portal as you will be able to view all past and current collections for purchase.

Having achieved great success at such a young age, you are truly an inspiration to many young and budding fashion designers. What advice would you give to youth out there who are trying to follow in your footsteps?

Whatever you may be passionate for in life or have that desire to pursue a goal or dream, you must take that risk otherwise you may never know what the outcome will be. Never take failure as the endpoint, because you will learn and grow from each experience.

'Payal Singhal' Kids collection

Anokhi wishes Payal Singhal great success in her future endeavours.

Images Courtesy of Payal Singhal’s PR – Peepul Consulting

Farah Khan

Farah Khan


Farah joined ANOKHI LIFE while finishing up her degree in English Literature and Writing at the University of Toronto. Her position since then has expanded across all departments, everything from office administration and corporate affairs, to ANOKHI's online presence and events. . .