Stylist to the stars, educator and ace influencer, Sandy Lion’s persona sure shines bright !
Sandy Gill’s fashion forward, roaring personality is evident in her bold styling choices. While staying authentic to her signature looks, she puts together elements that form a fantastic amalgamation of different cultures. Urban, chic, high street – come take a peep into Sandy’s colourful world. Her name catapulted to fame for the first time ever, when her two-piece power suit featured at the Oscars. One of her biggest gigs till date has been dressing Humble the Poet for Priyanka Chopra’s wedding. Dressing William Wells for the Heisman Trophy was super fun for Sandy since she feels he’s someone who is very open to being loud and extravagant. Hasan Minaj’s wife sports looks styled by Sandy quite often and the two have come to form a great friendship.
For Sandy, the name ‘Sandy Lion’ came about as a fluke during her childhood, owing to her super curly hair. Over the years, however, she feels that it has come to define her personality and represents her sense of power and strength. Her parents migrated to Canada from Punjab and her tremendous attachment to her roots is very evident in her persona and all her pursuits. Despite being raised far from India, Sandy considers Punjabi to be a first language. It’s natural for her to think in Punjabi and being a Sikh Punjabi woman is what her identity is centered around. The heritage of Punjab shines through in Sandy’s signature style. In many of her styling videos, she incorporates desi elements or pieces of jewellery, that give her content its own unique glam quotient. Sandy’s platform offers up a space to showcase this dual identity that many from the South-Asian diaspora identify with. Canada, with its ultra-cosmopolitan culture, is a great place to embrace this duality, she feels. On being asked about some of the most interesting elements Sandy likes to incorporate into the looks she styles, she says “I love sporting the parandhi, even with western clothes or street-wear. The most important secret ingredient to really up one’s game is the confidence one brings when wearing something that makes you feel your best. Whatever your style statement may be, it should represent who you really are”.
For as long as she can remember, fashion has always been Sandy’s chosen form of art to express herself and her individuality. The vision of becoming a designer filled her teenage years. There was a great deal of work that she put into realizing her dream. For all her progress, she gives credit to the strong immigrant ethic that her parents stood for – that of working hard with a steely determination. Growing up she saw her parents put in an honest day’s work every single day without complaint. It was during the recent lockdown that Sandy worked on her dream project – that of creating a comfort athleisure line of urban street-wear. Titled ‘Tuff Bandit’, this range of clothing is Sandy’s way of paying homage to the immigrant hustle and it’s many challenges. She has donated the proceeds from one of her collections to the cause of Indian farmers and their rights. This is an initiative she feels very strongly about. Her father and extended family are involved with farming in Punjab therefore, the connect she feels to her ancestral lands is huge. Even before the recent farmer protests, there were often discussions related to agriculture that would take place in her home. Sandy says she has always been taught to stand up for justice, especially keeping in mind her privilege and the ability to get dialogue going to highlight issues amongst her massive social media following.
When asked about some of the staple pieces Sandy feels every girl should have in her wardrobe, she says “Definitely a power suit to make you feel like the CEO that you are! Good comfortable shoes that make you feel grounded. Of course, a well fitted white shirt and a good pair of jeans you can rely on.”
Apart from being a stylist and designer, Sandy is a full time teacher with a Masters of Education Degree. Her niece and nephew are the center of her world and slumber parties with them is her favorite way to unwind. Deeply inspired by music, art and conversations with people, she channelizes all of these energies into her work.