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Sandra Bicknell [Revealed]

Posted by Dresonic on April 22, 2007

Growing up in Queens, New York within a typical Cuban-American household, Sandra Bicknell had no intention of being a model, travelling the world or being ‘cover girl’ for the fashion industry’s top glossies. In fact, she nonchalantly sums up her discovery as “just luck”.

“I had a job in Soho (West Broadway, Manhattan) in my first year of college, some agents came in and asked who’s that girl and that was it,” Sandra says as she nestles into the warm oatmeal couch, eager to share her story with SunDay. Opening what she calls her “memory trunk”, SunDay uncovers a vast collection of photos, magazines and memorabilia from her four-year stint as a model.

Sandra creates history by appearing on two Cosmo covers within three months of each other.
Sandra at her 40th birthday party.

Her whirlwind career filled with quirky moments, life lessons and a near-death experience with meningitis ended when she moved to Jamaica to start a new chapter as mother and wife.
Fast-forward to present day, Sandra is a bubbly 40-year-old, divorced mother of two. still a beautiful soul; grateful for wisdom, relationships and the opportunity to share her life.

.On getting started
“I started modelling at 21.the agents always told me, ‘don’t say your age’. My agency was called BoyGirl and I was literally two months fresh, I had just started to compile my [portfolio] and an agency in Paris wanted a new face and next thing, I had a direct booking with Robert Erdman, famous London photographer. I did the first issue of Glamour magazine in 1988!”
“Right place, right time, I was just there.open to whatever the jobs were.”

My very first photo
.They told me only bring a white T-shirt, denim jacket and get Dax for your hair. I really wasn’t the kind of girl that did stuff to my hair.I didn’t know how to pose but yet, this is the picture that got me to Paris and the direct booking with City. I went on the booking and never left Paris for about a year and a half.

On her first cover
I thought it was ridiculous. I am five foot seven (inches), from Queens and I thought, ‘Are these people crazy, all these gorgeous models and they chose me?’

Personality always wins
I know for a fact that if you’re easy to deal with you’re better off than if you’re gorgeous.I never complained about anything; I was just so willing. The innocence and naivety, that youthful outlook I had helped my whirlwind career.

When Sandy met Bruce
“I left New York at the end of ’90 because South Beach (Florida) became very hot.I had my little apartment paying $550 a month on 10th and Meridian which is unheard of.you can’t even get a parking space for that. It changed for me there. I started doing a lot more commercials and I was deciding if I was gonna go back to Paris or to LA and do some acting! That’s when I met my ex-husband. I ended up going south and came to Jamaica.got married in 1992.”

Life after modelling
I was facing so much change in my life, I had left my career, my home to come to a foreign country, become a wife. that was huge for me. I was so busy getting accustomed to my life in Jamaica that I had very little time to miss [the past].

A difficult adjustment
I couldn’t understand a thing anybody said! The language was difficult, the pace [of island life], to get accustomed to a very close-knit and private family.they were very good to me! I was only 25.
Having help was also very strange for me .a vast difference coming from a [Cuban] family who had fled their country.

The separation
My biggest lesson [learnt] was to fight harder, try a little harder.although I don’t have regrets, but I think I could have given [the relationship] a little more. But Bruce is a wonderful father and we’re a really close family, he loves, loves his kids.

Simon says
I met Simon when I was 31.he’s been wonderful with me and the children. He’s eight years younger than I am, and my having children (from a previous relationship) was never an issue. I think my kids are blessed to have two mothers (Bruce has remarried) and two fathers.

Still fab @ 40
Life is great because it’s my life and there’s so much more to do and see. It’s sometimes stressful; I have a 13-year-old son and that speaks for itself. And I finally remember when I was 13, looking at my mother and saying: ‘What the hell does she know? She’s so old’. And that’s the only thing that makes me feel old.

Sandra, a long way from the once naïve, olive-skinned 20-something, eager to see the world and apt at riding the currents of serendipity, has finally found home – caring for her son Adrian and daughter Leah (11), “the loves of her life”.
“I’m really happy, I could never leave Jamaica or raise my children anywhere else; their lives are here”.

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