Interview by Rehana Paul
My name is Sandy, also known as The Sandy Lion. I am a middle school teacher and fashion influencer/stylist, both of which I love and enjoy so much! I grew up in Canada and live here along with my parents, and three other sisters. I really like to travel and explore new cultures, and new fashion trends! I have gotten quite a few countries under my belt, including Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Paris, Czech Republic, and a bunch more.
What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment?
Building a fanbase that feels like a family
What is the best part of your job?
Helping people learn how to be more confident through fashion
What is the worst part of your job?
All the cons of social media: feeling like you have to post, or keep up with social media algorithms, always watching what I’m doing
What is the hardest part of your job?
When I’m working with people in the entertainment industry, it’s very fast paced. You find out you’re going somewhere three days before, and you just have to work with that.
Do you think there is a cultural stigma against girls modeling in the Asian community?
I’ve been lucky in that my family has always supported me, but I know that there are girls out there whose parents are very controlling. It’s all just based on what other people might think- that’s the stigma that we need to break now.
If yes, what do you think should be done about it?
The best way to do it is through communication. We need to understand that there are reasons why there is that stigma, and the only way to take it out is with people who believe in it, and explaining to them how and why it is wrong. We need to keep doing it, irrespective of what people think, and having open conversations with people who matter the most.
Have you ever encountered any racism in the modeling industry?
Always, in all forms.
Do you want to work in the fashion industry your entire life?
I want to work in fashion and education my entire life! I don’t know how long fashion will feed me- but for as long as it does, I want to stay.
Who is the most interesting person you have ever met?
He is supremely interesting: the way he schedules his life and maintains the balance between peace of mind-and work! His work requires consistent, over the top energy, and his still manages to shut it down and retreat. Machal Montano
What do you think should be done to remedy the lack of Asian girls in the modeling industry?
I don’t want to use the word “lack” or “remedy”, because I feel like we’re already there. We’re already doing it. I think we need to take a look at where we’ve come from- because I think that we are represented now. There is a lot of diversity in modeling, and we need to keep going.
What is your biggest ambition?
To be able to bring sustainable change to a community, whether that’s through a fundraising project or something else
What is your favorite thing about yourself? (don’t be afraid to brag!)
My confidence when it comes to style and fashion.
Is your real name Sandy?
If no, what is it?
Sandeep (Pronounced “Sun-dtheep”)
What is your go-to coffee order?
I’m not a huge coffee drinker, but I do like a cold coffee shot in the morning, which keeps me going all day.
What do you consider the biggest problem facing Asian women today to be?
I think the biggest problem is them feeling that they are held back or not represented, or that they have to meet a certain expectation. I think we need to recognize that we no longer need to be held back. If we look at the progress we have made, it will guide us to a brighter path