My Greatest Mistake: Sandra Boler, editor of 'Brides' magazine
'There I was, a 20-year-old, talking about "dual buttock control" as if it was splitting the atom'
Tuesday 13 August 2002
I have made so many mistakes – I make at least one a day. The thing is, I actually love it when things go wrong, because it makes me feel like I'm on a daily instead of a bi-monthly. Looking back, I think my greatest mistake was taking everything terribly seriously when I was younger. I always remember being given the job as underwear editor at Vogue. I was 20, and it was the time when Lycra came on to the scene and corsets evolved into pantie girdles, with a seam between the two buttocks. The arrangement gave much more mobility and a better shape. Soon after I started, I was asked to lecture a group of buyers about this new trend. Remember that I was young and I really wanted to do the job well. I began: "This talk is about dual buttock control – hereafter referred to as DBC." There was a loud noise at the back of the room. It was my editor laughing hysterically. There I was, a 20-year-old, talking about DBC as if it was splitting the atom. The more serious I became, the more the ripple of mirth spread. What I thought was sheer professionalism was ludicrous. I even had myself trained as a corset-fitter. I was so serious, it was tragic.
Another mistake involved my husband-to-be. We were working on Vogue and had to arrange the "ultimate Christmas" issue. Again, we were quite young, and had a great time collecting amazing icons, first editions and priceless diamonds. It was going to be very Natalie Wood – the ultimate luxury sitting. We had just gathered everything together for the shoot, and it hit us: we hadn't insured anything. I will never forget the look on the financial director's face when we told him; we had to get a bank safety deposit box for all the diamonds, and a Securicor guard to sit in the office all night with the rest of the things. I actually had to lock him in and solemnly take the key home with me on the bus. It really was an awful mistake.
You constantly live with your mistakes: you just have to use them. I was one of the first people to photograph Naomi Campbell, before she made it. I looked at the photos, thought, "No, this is not a goer", and put them in a "kill" file. If I ever get too big for my boots, I take them out and look at them again.
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