We are proud to announce that the team just got bigger.
Our journey fetching new talent has now taken us to New Dehli, India.
Get to know the latest Underdog, Vidit Singh Chhikara.

When did you feel you had to become a footwear designer?
l was into art as a kid and grew up playing basketball later in High School, basketball was something l was really passionate about. Whenever l played l observed some crazy shoes on court. Growing up in India, l never saw shoes like these and my curiosity grew rapidly. I realised l couldn’t afford those expensive Basketball shoes and neither they were available in India so l started sketching my own shoes in my High School notebooks.

I was able to combine my passion for art and sports into designing sneakers. At the time l couldn’t see myself doing anything else in life that l would enjoy more, so I thought to myself what if l could be a footwear designer in future? The question gave me a vision and a goal and l decide to pursue it.

What were your first contacts with the culture?
My first contact was on court with Lebron 10s, Kobe’s signature shoes and Jordan retros on other players feet. I could just
watch and be amazed and go home and research on the same. From there, l kinda knew about the sneaker culture in basketball.
From basketball l got into Hip Hop and Rap music which ultimately lead me to the history of sneakers, artist collaborations and stories of designs and colorways.

I was so invested in the culture that a few years later l was able to experience a lot of it while living in the states.

How was it in India? Do you feel it was harder because of your nationality?

When l started my journey in India l was told that no one designs sneakers in India and there is no demand for designers. People around me would say "yo we need a shoe fixing guy not a designer"

Some even called me names and some discouraged me. I couldn’t even find someone who would help me in my pursuit and there were no opportunities for me to intern or learn from someone in India.

I felt like quitting in 2016 after multiple rejections from Pensole Academy too. I asked myself there isn’t anyone doing what l am trying to do, there isn’t opportunity, not even support from others but lf l quit on myself then none of my dreams would become a reality, is that what l want?.

I had to believe in myself, with the support of my family and some great friends, l kept on going.

Today, after 4 years of struggle, hustle and hard work, l was able to create the opportunity myself in India and also abroad. I was able to design for Fila India and other independent brands, guide others to get into the Pensole Academy and help create opportunity for young designers, while still having a vision to do great for the community.

My journey had a 360• turnaround and l feel blessed that l could represent India on a global level.

What brands / designers influence you the most?

Brands like Nike, Adidas, Y-3 inspired me early in life and l was able to even talk to some of the designers from the brand who inspired me via Instagram platform. Leo chang, Eric Avar and Tinker Hatfield work always inspires me to be a innovator and l try to connect with other designers to learn from them and be a innovator myself.

What was your feeling when invited to be an "Underdog"?

We Are Underdogs created an opportunity that not only represented my story about also the story of a lot of designers who wanted to design sneakers and represent their culture and community. I was blessed to be a part of the brand and work along side other great people like Kaito Choy and Paulo.


Where do you envision yourself in 10 years from now?

My 10 years goal is to reach from a footwear designer 1 to a creative director level and inspire the young generation of designers. I always want to have an opportunity to get my greatest of friends to the brand l work for under the same umbrella and design together. I could also see myself being a independent product designer serving the community while following my passion for footwear. If l could create opportunity for the younger generation that l myself didn’t have when l was growing up, that would be the greater goal.

What would you say is your "signature" in terms of sneaker design?

I am always experimenting and learning and growing so my style also keeps on changing but some of the other designers think l have a distinct sketching style that has some energy to it. As l love sketching l would l like to enhance that style and keep on experimenting.

What mark would you like to leave?

I wanna leave hope and belief, if l was able to do it, others can too. The path is not at all easy, it’s scary, painful and sometimes heartbreaking but the journey would make anyone stronger and the reward would be a dream come true. As kids, we use to dream a lot and while growing up we start to measure things in terms of being realistic. Why be realistic when the reality could be changed by yourself, your efforts and your pursuit.