in her shoes

What a Master Hollywood Dealmaker Wears to Work

CAA Global Brands Groups’ Sandra Kang helps clients like J.Lo launch lifestyle brands.

Photo: Magdalena Wosinska
Photo: Magdalena Wosinska

These days it seems like every celebrity is looking to parlay fame into a lifestyle brand, but not every star has Sandra Kang on their side. As the managing director of CAA-GBG’s BrandStudio, Kang has helped celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Drew Barrymore, and Shaun White build out fashion, home, and beauty lines. Her team also takes on big projects with major clients like Moët & Chandon, Fred Segal, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Kang serves as the master negotiator and matchmaker — her expansive connections make it easy to bring the right people together.

Growing up in Seattle, Kang always thought she’d have a career in international business. But after majoring in Art History and International Studies at the University of Washington, she got a job at the Discovery Channel, where she worked in marketing. That led to a role at Creative Artists Agency she rose up in the ranks, and now oversees the Brand Studio. The Cut caught up with her at work to talk about wearing very high heels, working very long days, and why a motorcycle jacket is her secret style weapon.

On her collection of fancy heels: My daily shoes come in a wide range of brands. I love Lanvin, Aquazzura, Prada, and Saint Laurent. They all need to be high, though — all of mine are between four to six inches. That said, gravity is finally winning and I’ve started to slowly transition to shorter heels.

On the shoes she wears to big meetings: Since I’m 5’2”, I need height. I have these Brian Atwood heels that are six-inches high. I’ve had them forever and they really give me a boost. Plus they match my attitude!

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On what’s stashed at her desk: I’ll keep a pair of Tory Burch flats, black-patent Christian Louboutin pumps, and these Phillip Lim glass heeled mules. I find that this range will generally cover me for whatever my after-work plans are.

On dressing for long days: I usually have drinks or an event every night, so I tend to be more dressed up. I’ll throw a black motorcycle jacket over a cocktail dress to make it more daytime appropriate. I’m also a big fan of 3.1 Phillip Lim skirts and Co. dresses — they look good all day long! I find that it’s easier to be in heels all day when I’m in L.A. If my work takes me to NYC, I wind up in Valentino kitten heels since I’m walking around.

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On Monday outfits: I call my look that day “no-brainer black Mondays.” The last thing I want to do is struggle with what I’m going to wear, so I’m wearing head-to-toe black. It’s simple, stylish, and makes it easier to focus on my work.

On her approach to dressing: I always say my clothes are my coat of armor. It sets the tone in terms of what I want to accomplish. In my current role, I have more creative demands so I’ve been expanding my outfits to be a little more creative-casual. But I feel my most powerful when I’m in a polished look. I want my image to say I’m GID — getting it done!

On the ups-and-downs of her job: Mentoring my team is my greatest joy — I love seeing everyone thrive at their super powers. On the flip side, my job requires a lot of outreach and that never ends. I’m always trying to tell friends, colleagues, and our other working relationships about all the offerings and capabilities we can offer.

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What a Master Hollywood Dealmaker Wears to Work