Moss was discovered at just fourteen years old in an airport with her family. There was no doubt that she was a beautiful girl, but Moss's beauty was unconventional at the time. She did not posses "the look" that was prevalent in fashion models at the time. The 80s and 90s was the emergence of the supermodel- tall, curvaceous women who were known around the world for their beauty which filled the pages of magazines, the spaces in commercials and gilded popular music videos. Moss did not fit that bill, she was a slender girl of average height and what most would consider small chested. Signing her was a risk, but it was the best risk an agent, Sarah Doukas, ever took and it changed the fashion world's idea of beauty forever.
Kate Moss got her first big break in 1991 when famed photographer, Corinne Day, photographed her for The Face. The Face was a popular magazine in the 90s that celebrated alternative fashion, photography, and culture. Her photographs of Moss, although provocative, had a very joyous and youthful vibe. The most popular images are of Moss barely clothed laughing on a beach. They showed off the youthful and carless beauty that Moss possessed. The photographs put Moss on the map and soon followed her her long and fruitful modeling career.
* Last year many of Corinne Day's photographs of Kate Moss for The Face were displayed in Gimpel Fils Gallery in London. The exhibition recieved rave reviews and I was lucky to be able to attend. To read more about the exhibition read my review here.
A few years later Moss landed her first major campaign, Calvin Klein Underwear and later Calvin Klein Obsession. The advertisements were highly controversial, first for their lack of clothing and sexual suggestiveness, but mostly for Moss's thin waif-like features. Many accused Calvin Klein of promoting a look that implied heavy drug use. These ads launched a new movement in the fashion industry. Coined "herion chic", the use of thinner, waif like models became more popular. Later Klein explained that he chose Moss to head his campaigns because he felt that she had a more natural look than the supermodels at the time. He later went on to say that many women at the time were getting breast implants and he just wanted to promote natural beauty, which Kate Moss definitely had. Today these ads are Moss's most talked about works.
What's a supermodel without a Hollywood boyfriend? In the mid 1990s Kate Moss and Johnny Depp were one of the medias favorite couples. Today there photographs are still depicted in magazines and blogs. They looked so good together, but unfortunately the couple broke up after four years of courtship. We'll always miss the days of Kate and Johnny.
Kate Moss Cocaine Scandal, 2005In September 2005 The Daily Mirror ran a very controversial cover story on Kate Moss. The article stated that she was a cocaine user. Accompanying the article were many pictures of Kate snorting a white powdery substance, assumed to be the drug, at a BabyShambles recording session. The story lead to Swedish retailer, H&M, dropping Moss from their campaign, a job that was reportedly to pay her 4 million british pounds a year. Chanel and Burberry also chose not to renew their contracts with her. Many assumed this would have a huge effect on Moss's career, but fashion industry leaders such as Dior and Alexander McQueen still had strong support for Moss regardless of the scandal. Moss issued an appology, attended rehabilitation and ended her relationship with notorious drug addict and musician, Pete Doherty. Her efforts seemed to have worked. The following years would be some of the biggest earning years of her career.
Kate Moss on Forbes High Ranking Models List, 2007
According to Forbes, Kate Moss earned more after her cocaine scandal than ever before. That year she has reported to have made $9 million, which makes her the second highest paid model after Gisele Bundchen. Moss has been on covers of the biggest publications in fashion like Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, W, Dazed & Confused, I-D, endorsed major high fashion houses such as Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Roberto Cavalli, Missoni. Her career would be coveted in any model in the industry. She soon became more than just a face for other brands, she became a brand herself.
Along with her achievements as a model for other companies, as of a few years ago Moss also began to brand herself. In 2007 Moss began a three year collaboration with British retailer, Top Shop. She designed her own collections in collaboration with Top Shop for three years. The partnership was highly successful. In collaboration with Coty, Moss has released four different fragrances. In 2010 Moss had designed a range of handbags for Longchamp. She also has a wax figure in London's Madame Tussaud's. There is also a wax gold figure of Moss designed by artist Marc Quinn that was on display at The British Museum in 2008.
Kate Moss Today
Today Moss is still at work. She is the face of two major campaigns- one for Spanish retailer Mango, and another for popular skate shop, Supreme. She also appeared nude in the Perilli calendar this year along with many editorials and magazine covers worldwide. Last year Moss married James Hince of The Kills. Her wedding made the cover of American Vogue's September issue.
Kate Moss is not only a model, she is a fashion icon and consistantly on best dressed lists. She's known for her fashionable, yet care free style. As a model she has always been known for her natural looking beauty. She has lasted in this industry for over two decades and I hope her reign continues. Long live the Queen.
photos via: Kate Moss is Boss