A rebellious teenager with divorced parents from an industrial suburb of London, far from what we could consider as an ideal background.
A girl with very skinny body, flat chest, crooked legs and misshapen teeth, far from the expectations of what a supermodel should be. Especially at the time of Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell or Cindy Crawford praised for their curvy shapes and perfect body!
Kate Moss has opened the door for nontraditional models when despite the above she has become one of the most successful models in the fashion history. In July 2007 she had earned an estimated total of $9 million and Forbes magazine named her second on the list of the World’s 15 top-earning models list.
Moss has had campaigns with major Italian, French, American, and British designers including Gucci, Dolce&Gabbana, Calvin Klein, Chanel, Rimmel and Bulgari. She has appeared on the cover of British Vogue 30 times in addition to dozens of other international Vogue covers. She has worked with the most well-known photographers in the fashion industry, such as Mario Testino, Mario Sorrenti, Steven Klein, Juergen Teller and Peter Lindbergh. Being praised for her personal style, in 2005 she won the prestigious Vogue/CFDA award for being a fashion inspiration and she also got a place on the Vanity Fair international best-dressed list.
It has all started at the New York airport in 1988, when Sarah Doukas, owner of a fashion agency luckily found her high cheekbones and wide-set eyes remarkable and asked her if she was thinking of becoming a model. Kate did not mind, and although she was a rebellious teenager she was very determined in trying to secure herself some bookings. She began working for a British fashion, music and culture magazine ‘The Face’ for little or no pay. It wasn’t easy to make the next step as a typical catalog work did not fit her. The goal of a catalog was to make the product look appealing enough to attract potential customers, not to showcase the individuality and spirit of the model.
It was clear that Kate’s personality was precisely what set her apart from other models, so she had to turn her attention to New York, Paris or Milan where the exclusive contracts and major fashion shows were generated. In New York however no one was interested in her as she was tiny and skinny unlike the supermodels of the era, Cindy Crawford or Linda Evangelista. But the times were changing in her favour.. In the disillusioned period of the 1990’s with the rock band Nirvana rebelling against blind capitalism, Seattle has started to develop the same grunge social climate as Kate’s original city, Manchester had. There was a new code slowly born for aesthetics, based on individuality and realism. The exact same qualities that defined Kate Moss’ modelling. Calvin Klein cast her with Mark Wahlberg to introduce his new look and photographer Patrick Demarchelier captured them topless in CK underwear. Kate become Calvin Klein’s new muse.
The next career goal now was to break in the American publishing houses of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, which wasn’t easy. But the times were changing in her favour, again. This was the point when Anna Wintour took over the US Vogue and revamped the 125-year-old magazine. This new direction included the appointment of Fabien Baron and Patrick Demarchelier, with whom Kate had previously worked. Their team was reunited, and Kate appeared on the pages of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar in no time. She landed prestigious advertising campaigns with Dolce&Gabbana and YSL and designers began booking her for their runway shows.
Although she was worried that she is not enough tall for the catwalk, her nontraditional appearance worked for her repeatedly. Designers felt that Kate was more about attitude and she captured the spirit of the time. She has secured her place within the elite inner circle of photographers, models and stylists and shortly appeared on the pages of almost very fashion magazine in America. Up to this point her celebrity status has been limited primarily to fashion, but this has all changed when she started going out with Johnny Depp, the notorious Hollywood A-lister and the whole world got to know her.
This is all history of the 90’s and she is still around, releasing the highly anticipated ‘Kate Moss Book‘ in November. The tome is a complete retrospective of her career illustrating Kate’s evolution from girl to supermodel to photographic icon.
And this is not the only big news around Kate. Her friend Sadie Frost wants her to become a movie star, and owning her own production company she’d love to make a film featuring the supermodel. This wouldn’t be the first attempt in the history of supermodels when they are using their recognition to springboard into other areas such as the film industry and I’m eagerly waiting for further news on this.
With describing Kate’s career path and her outstanding success in the model industry, I would like to highlight that none of us needs to be perfect in order to be successful in life. Let us have her magical story serve as a lesson which makes us believe that we don’t have to look like supermodels and don’t necessarily have to have the supportive background in order to make it.
Miracles can happen to those who believe in themselves and never give up.