"Shoot Ball, Sketch Kicks" - In Conversation with Vidit Singh Chhikara

"Shoot Ball, Sketch Kicks" - In Conversation with Vidit Singh Chhikara

From gazing at grails in wonder to actualizing them, Vidit Singh Chhikara has been making whirlwinds in the sneaker industry all over the globe.

We’re always told to make the life we want to live, but seldom do we see people making meaning of the words. However, in the case of Vidit Singh’s obsession with sneakers, the artist is living out his dream, bringing to life a rather prolific approach to the concept of sneakers and their making.

PUMA Vidit Singh Chhikara

Singh is an ace product designer, with a special inclination towards the field of footwear, and having been drawn towards the multiverse universe of design and art ever since his childhood, was seen exploring the pages of sketchbooks more than textbooks right from his early days.

He recalls having expressed his creativity through sketched comics, drawn fashion and sketches on the Photoshop of the simpler times, MS Paint. It was after he quit his artistic practices in the 11th grade, that his attention went to basketball and eventually basketball sneakers, which further became one of the designer’s ardent passions, and an important aspect in his professional personality.

The growing fascination with sneakers soon turned into a productive habit, when Singh started sketching various renditions of them by the last year of high school, with the hopes of actualizing and owning the 3 dimensional form of these penciled musings someday.

An alumnus of the Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI), Noida, India; Singh has also studied product design from the College of Creative Studies, based in Detroit. After many failed attempts, one lucky strike and a scholarship, landed the designer into Pensole Academy, the mother ship that has turned out some of the best footwear and sneaker designers to the culture. Soon followed the opportunity to represent his home country at the World Sneaker Championship, and Singh secured a position in the top 32 contestants, and there was no looking back.

Mercedes AMG Slides Rendered
Mercedes AMG Slides RenderedVidit Singh Chhikara

“I started sketching my own shoes in 12th grade hoping to have my own one day. Ever since then I have been doing the same - Shoot Ball, Sketch Kicks. Not being able to afford sneakers was the motivation behind designing sneakers and the old passion for art and design followed along. I use to wear fake Supras, and later on transitioned into getting 1 basketball sneaker a year and in the meanwhile, I sketched my own shoes.”

Vidit Singh Chhikara

Talking about the creative process behind every masterpiece, Singh tells us that things of the daily that he sees and observes are an integral part of his inspiration bank, which also includes the work of other designers. Breaking down his design approach for us, the designer mentions that he focuses on two different perspectives, an artistic process and a design oriented process, while trying to create an impeccable balance between the two.

Under Armour 2022 Rendered
Under Armour 2022 RenderedVidit Singh Chhikara

“To me, there is inspiration everywhere. As I am evolving my style, my influences change from time to time. Usually, there are 2 approaches I take into consideration; the designer approach, and the artist approach. As a designer I am solving a problem, I am innovating, sketching ideas and turning them into 3D, and seeing the practicality. The artist approach on the other hand is more open, something could inspire you to jump on creating without trying to solve a problem but purely expressing your true self through your skills. Both approaches could work individually or together and I love the flexibility to switch within the two.”

Vidit Singh Chhikara

VC x MSVidit Singh Chhikara

Singh has had the opportunity to work with illustrious names in the sneaker industry like Fila, Vibram, New Balance along with multiple collaborations, which the designer regards are some of his strongest works till date.

VC x CPVidit Singh Chhikara

The designer recently joined the design team at We Are Underdogs, facilitating the design process of a sneaker made on the famous Vibram outsole. The designer has also worked with influential names like Kaito Choy and Nightwing - collaborations which are expected to hit the market in 2021!

We asked Singh about his views on the prevalent sneaker culture in India, and the answer that followed was an observation based on his journey with sneakers, and how he perceives them as a personality trait and not as an asset to show off.

“Way before social media, the sneaker culture was really unique and everyone had a different taste, feeling, knowledge, and love which is somewhat still present but I am not a fan of what is happening now. This is totally my perspective and I could be wrong too, but sneakers are turned into a hype statement picture rather than a reflection of one’s personality. I mean I don’t own any Yeezys or Air Jordan 1s, not because they are hyped or iconic but because it doesn’t reflect my personality. My only word to the culture is to stop trying to fit into a trend and find what is unique to you.”

Vidit Singh Chhikara

Nike X Future Tubes Rendered
Nike X Future Tubes RenderedVidit Singh Chhikara

Every creator has an individualistic meaning when it comes to the term ‘culture’. Singh’s vision leads through his years of hustle, and the desire of wanting to give it back to the community.

“I want to represent hope and possibility. The education I was blessed with at Pensole, New Balance, Vibram, Fila, and CCS, I want to give back to the community and open doors for young designers. I have been doing that personally through Instagram over the years but the goal is to reach every kid who wants to be a footwear designer. This year itself, I’ll be giving webinars at my high school and FDDI about sneaker designing so I could continue on my path and also lead with example.”

Vidit Singh Chhikara

From sketching sneakers when he couldn’t afford them to being able to wear his own designs and showing them to the world, Singh’s relationship with persistence and unending dedication towards his passion is unparalleled to any other. Take a look at the designer's Instagram and Behance for a detailed peek at all his bespoke concepts and creations!

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