Although revered far and wide for her work as a celebrity stylist, Sandy Gill, aka, The Sandy Lion, has moonlighted as an elementary school teacher for the past several years. With aspirations of expanding her creative footprint, Sandy dreamt one day of starting her own fashion line, however, shied away from establishing any sort of operational blueprint to ensure she first satisfied her family’s cultural sensitivities. Growing up in a Canadian, albeit, traditional Punjabi household, stability was always highlighted as a trait meant to be achieved. As a youngster still trying to navigate through life’s professional work maze, Sandy thought it wise to finish schooling in the hopes of landing a respectable career. As it turns out, that is exactly what she did; and then some.
Sandy originally attended university to study political science, however, pivoted within her first year after witnessing how much her sister and brother-in-law enjoyed their time as child educators. With a respectable plan now in place, she eventually earned her teaching certificate and masters in education before landing on her feet as an elementary school teacher. Although radically different from anything related to fashion, Sandy makes it a point to communicate the intrinsic value found in art, often sharing her personal experiences with her students as a way to highlight the proper work/life balance needed to sustain a healthy existence.
The creative’s ascent into fashion can best be looked at as a slow, yet steady admission of one’s style evolution. After having been convinced to publicly share her steezy outfit posts on Instagram by friend and fellow influencer, Humble The Poet, Sandy noticed a dramatic increase in her social following. A steady outcry of support quickly ensued, and in many ways, brought forth the societal stamp of approval needed to push things forward. Before too long, Sandy began producing a steady stream of content that centered around her own personal style tips. With her Instagram reach quickly approaching the 6 digit milestone marker, Sandy pivoted to YouTube, where she began uploading on-trend style tutorials; here, Sandy shows you how to dress for your next quarantine Zoom meeting, sort of.
Of all the fashion functionalities Sandy is involved with, her ability to outfit high-profile entertainers for Hollywood’s red carpet affairs is what separates her from other fashionable “gram flexers.” To date, Sandy’s styling portfolio includes dressing Lilly Singh for the MMVA’s, Roy Wood Jr for the Emmy’s, Humble The Poet for the NBA All Star 2020 festivities, not to mention Hassan Minaj for everything else.
To say all of the above played a factor in the creation of her very first capsule collection would be an understatement to say the least. The realization of reaching this personal milestone is what makes her “Working Class Heroes” capsule alongside Urbancoolab so fulfilling. Teased earlier this week via Instagram, Sandy unveiled the foundational DNA of her inaugural streetwear line, and the underlying influences that lead her here. She recounts watching her parents slave away in factories and taxi routes with the sole purpose of providing for their family. “Working Class Heroes” can be looked at as a love letter, not only to her parents, but to all those currently making do within the same struggle.”
“This collection represents the immigrant hustle. The imagery is all reminiscent of my childhood growing up as a daughter of a cabbie. The phulkari (traditional Punjabi fabric), the cab light, the hidden image of my dad’s first cab license & the sketch of Pearly’s map book are all images I saw growing up that consistently reminded me of who I am and how to work hard.”
“This is not just the story of my family, it is the story of thousands of people from various backgrounds who have all been around a working class hero at some point in their life. This hustle, this drive – it GETS THE JOB DONE…..it’s for you, your mom, your dad, your grandparents, kids, uncles, aunties – EVERYONE. Stay plugged. WELCOME TO TUFF BANDIT.” — Sandy Gill
Sandy Gill’s “Working Class Heroes” collection is now available at Urbancoolx.