Dressed in the nonchalant casual-cool dress code of Delhi models – sneakers under a long skirt, crossbody bag – Bandana Sondhi cuts an attractive figure as she walks towards a coffee shop in the tony Vasant Vihar market. Her sunglasses propped up on her highlighted hair, she gives off an easy vibe on a winter afternoon.
It is evident that she loves fashion – not the oppressive, brand-obsessed sort of love, but a purer respect for the possibilities that it possesses.
“Fashion can be used to express one’s personality or to make a statement, even to rebel against norms,” says the stylist and personal shopper, who specialises in helping people resolve their dressing woes. She conducts workshops on appearance and style for multinational corporate houses, and also models for print and TV commercials.
You may have seen her in ads for Coca Cola, HP, Samsung Note 8, DLF Mall of India, Amway and whole host of other brands, besides designers such as Joy Mitra. She has been handling PR and branding for fashion designers and brands, besides curating pop-ups and trunk shows.
And all the while, she chronicles her life on her Instagram handle @Supergirldiariess, where her 16000-plus followers can get behind-the-scenes glimpses of her modeling career. But this is not what Bandana initially set out to do.
She started working at the age of 20 at American Express Bank, and later moved to HSBC. Then her father’s work compelled her to leave India. The move shifted her thought process: she realized banking did not interest her anymore.
At the same time, friends started approaching her for grooming and fashion advice. Bandana gave them complete makeovers that changed their outlook and lives. “My career in styling started from there. Though it was never the plan, I realized I’d found my true calling,” she recalls.
After styling came modelling, and now, 50-odd advertisements down the line, Bandana is able to look back with wonder and see that she has really lived her dream. “Anyone can do that if they just believe in themselves and find their hidden talent, their ‘superpower’. We all have the potential to be superheroes,” says Bandana who is also a successful columnist for a weekly paper and has a book in the pipeline.
“Believe in yourself and be original in your choices. Nothing can stop you from conquering the world.”