“The worst thing in my life has given me the most beautiful thing I have ever cherished, the strength, confidence, and opportunity for this career that I wouldn’t trade for the world.” Beautiful fashion model and power woman Sandy Evangelista Robinson reveals the truth behind her survival instinct in this inspiring interview…
Nationality: American / Brazilian
Agencies: Click ATL / Click: RE:Quest NYC / MP Mega MIA
Milestones: Signed first contract in ATL at 16 / Cancer Survivor at 16 / NYC contract at 17 / Lands End National Campaign which was featured in Vogue, InStyle, GQ, Marie- Claire, Elle, and Glamour
Current location: I am currently in MIA with my new agency MP Mega
First off tell us how you were discovered and how your modeling career all started?
In Atlanta I had been taking classes at Barbizon at 15. After six months of classes there was a showcase competition with a mix of modeling and acting agencies and scouts watching us. The competition was broken into three categories, Runway, Swimwear, and Commercial. At the end of the competition I had placed runner up in both Runway and Swimwear which led to me getting 23 callbacks from the agencies. I got offers from all over the globe, but since I was still in school and young my mother and I decided to sign locally with Click ATL for a start. After signing with them and being with them for five months I received the awful news of being diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkins Lymphoma Cancer. This was the most heart breaking news I had ever received thinking my new career is already over before starting. But no. I pushed through it, and did as many shoots as I could before my hair started to fall out due to chemotherapy. This sickness is one that can take over your life and bring ones self esteem plunging down, but thats not what happened to me. I realized there was something awful in my body that I could not control but what I could control was the way I was going to cope and the state of my happiness and self being. I did not let this stop my dreams nor my life. I continued normal routines as much as I could and tried to act as “normal” as possible. I put quotes around this word cause you begin to realize that normal is not a realistic idea and nor should it be. I got a wig to continue pursuing my career. I wore the wig due to self confident issues at the time being, being a 16 year old girl in high school bald was not an easy thing so I dealt with it the way I could by using a wig the whole time I was sick. After four months of treatment I had a biopsy to confirm if the cancer was still in my body. On October 14, 2013 I was diagnosed CANCER FREE! But I continued to wear my wig, cause even thought I wasn’t sick anymore, I was still bald, skinny as can be, pale as ever, and my mental, emotional, physical states were still damaged. But I was not discouraged but fought like the fighter I am to bring my happiness and self worth back. My agency in ATL is also located in NYC. Paul Blascak, an NYC booker for Click NYC, had came down to ATL to scout girls twice during the time I had been signed. I went both times, once with my natural long hair before my hair fell out, once again with my wig, and finally the third time he came down. My mother agent had suggested to take off my wig and rock the short hair to see if he’d like that better. I had not taken off my wig many times and only shot once or twice without it. Still rough for me to deal with. But I said SCREW IT! LETS DO THIS! So i walked into that room where Paul sat waiting for me and all he could say was WOW! This hair. My eyes lit up while my heart still pounded from how nervous I was taking on this new side of myself. We had a great conversation and I told him my story after the question surfaced, “What made you cut your hair short?” . Two weeks later….. I was in NYC with Click. Then signed my contract and started working there. Six months later, left my senior year to live there for two months for my first fashion week and absolutely found a love for the city and a passion for this career. Then winded up moving after high school and been living there for the past year. What I have learned through my experiences is even the worse things that can happen to us can give us the best outcomes of life. Cancer was that hardest most painful thing I had to go through, but I am thankful for where it has brought me now. I have grown and matured in a way that makes my parents proud of me, Ive learned to love myself and those around me for a happy life, and most importantly I’ve became a true fighter for this beautiful gracious life we are all given the chance to make the most of it cause no day is guaranteed. The worst thing in my life has given me the most beautiful thing I have ever cherished, the strength, confidence, and opportunity for this career that I wouldn’t trade for the world.
What’s one of the most interesting shoots that you’ve done?
I had to shoot almost completely sheer dresses and see through clothing in the middle of Times Square barefoot! haha! Had tons of people surround me and taking selfies and photos and videos as if I were a famous person or something. While all the chaos of Times Square I had to focus and still give the photographer great shots.
Do you ever get shy in front of the camera?
I rarely get shy, for me the camera is my friend. If your shy or nervous it comes out on camera, so I always calm myself and think happy thoughts and bring the amazing energy expected in front of the camera for the best shots. I think, “Just be yourself” and enjoy the opportunity of being in front of that camera and own it.
Tell us a bit about your mother agency and what you like most about them.
I love my mother agency. They have had my back since I first started and always are striving for better for me. They have my best intentions and make me feel like family always. I have a great relationship with my mother agent and whenever I’m in town, I always stop for a visit and constantly staying in contact. What I like most is the family vibe, this for me is so important. You need people in this industry who are like family, people you trust, people who believe in you, and most importantly want you to be the best you possible. And Click ATL does this for me.
What are the main challenges in modeling today?
I would say one of the biggest challenges would be the competition created by the thousands of girls in this industry now days. Always having to stay relevant and somehow stand out from the crowd to bring something new to the industry. Another one would be the constant criticism we have to deal with as working models always striving for perfection to standards set by the industry.
Do you get to travel a lot for your work? If so what’s your favorite city that you have visited?
Yes! My favorite place was Islamorada, FL. Because this is where I shot my Lands End Campaign. This island was absolutely stunning and I had never been to the keys before, I couldn’t believe we were still in the USA. This place was truly beautiful. I love sunsets, and every night I was truly amazed by the beauty here and all the magic me and the crew created.
Where is home for you and why?
I could say home is a couple places for me, so let me break it down. I was born and raised in Atlanta. Living in the same house since I was two and growing up doing school there. I am your broad from Atlanta baby, always have to represent where your from. But, I am half Brazilian and my whole life have taken three months out of the year to go and stay in Brazil. I have been fluent in Portuguese since I was 2. I am absolutely in love with my Brazilian culture. Proud to be a Brazilian. The entire family of my mother lives in Fortaleza, a beautiful city in the north east of Brazil that I have been in love with since I was a kid. My heart truly lyes there also, since I was always raised half my life there and at home in ATL always with Brazilian culture. I am your half American/ Brazilian raised with both cultures equally always expressing my love for both cities also. But as I have grown up and started my own life out of my family’s home, I have made NYC my home. The love I have created for this place is one that only those in love with the city can understand. I was born in Atlanta, raised Brazilian, and made myself a New Yorker. This is the new home as a young adult I have made for myself, while never forgetting where you have came from. You can have many homes, a home is a feeling, a place you have established a life. For me, these three places are my home. Places I love and have created tons of memories, journeys, experiences, and appreciated a great love for the things these place have brought me.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Coffee. And lots of it.
What is your favorite healthy snack?
Fruits! I love fruits, especially watermelon, pineapple, grapes, and honeydew. Also enjoy eating almonds and granola bars and yogurt.
What’s your beauty regimen like?
Shower( Shampoo, condition, body wash, face wash), then face moisturizer, dental care, do my hair depending on what I want that day( anti frizz gel or naturally dry, I avoid using heat on my hair to leave it less damaged and if so always use heat friendly products to protect my hair) , put on whatever makeup is necessary for where I’m going or doing ( but I rarely wear makeup, if anything maybe mascara and little concealer, I leave my skin makeup free as much as I can).
Give us 5 facts about you people may not know.
1. I can put mayonnaise on anything!
2. I can rap and dance to any hip-hop/ rap songs.
3. I always wear fuzzy socks around the house.
4. I sleep with 3 stuffed animals, Bobby the Bear, Simba the Baby Lion, and Dude the turtle. They’re my besties.
5. My favorite thing in this world is my red jeep wrangler which I got at 16 named Betty.
If you weren’t modeling what would you see yourself doing?
Ive done acting growing up so would have wanted to pursue that more, and maybe a journalist somewhere due to my love for writing and reporting. I would love to be a news presenter thats involved in this industry still, being able to interview on the red carpet and such and reporting the latest gossip and current trends and celebrity statuses. I find it all very interesting.
What do you think MODELLIST-ID can do for the model community?
I think MODELLIST-ID can give models a voice and chance to share ones experiences in this industry also by promoting a good image for the models as well. A way for us to all connect and appreciate ones journey through this career. While presenting wonderful opportunities, constant exposure, and promoting the excellence and beauty of each model.