We have been looking at Kate’s face for nearly 25 years now. It’s as arresting as ever and still worth millions – in 2011 she was the third highest paid model in the world – but what she thinks and feels is closely guarded. She rarely gives interviews or comments to the press, which increases the impact of some of her sad and surprising revelations. She was the pin-up for grunge in the early 90s. Her name was synonymous with heroin chic in the mid 90s. Next came boho chic. At the turn of the century, she effortlessly morphed into the skinny rocker aesthetic. She’s appeared in ad campaigns for brands pitched at every price bracket from Mango to Louis Vuitton. So lose yourself in a great story about “Titanium Kate”.
Kate Moss was born January 16, 1974 in London, England.
She appeared in her first cover shot a year after she was discovered at age 14. With her incredibly thin body, she created quite a stir in the modeling world, launching what became known as the waif look. Moss started working young after being discovered at the age of 14 at JFK airport in New York. She appeared on the cover of a British magazine the next year – her first cover shot and an important career milestone for any model.
Kate Moss, Calvin Klein’s ultimate Muse. Featured in Calvin Klein’s Obsession ad campaign in 1993, she became even more famous and sought-after. In 1990, Linda Evangelista famously said, “We don’t wake up for less than $10,000 a day,” but Kate Moss didn’t even have to wake up at all for her latest gig. The story has become mythical: in 1993, Calvin Klein, wanting to revamp his ailing fragrance Obsession, hit upon an offbeat idea. Instead of simulating love via an expensive, glossy marketing campaign, why not capture it authentically? So he sent Moss, an 18 year-old aspiring model, off to the British Virgin Islands with her then-boyfriend, Mario Sorrenti, a budding fashion photographer.
Mario Sorrenti says about the footage from Moss’s iconic 1993 campaign for Calvin Klein’s Obsession fragrance – “She’s magical, she’s definitely a magical person, and at the time she didn’t even know it. And I would just say to her, ‘You have such an incredible presence and power and beauty.” Sorrenti and Moss, a couple at the time, were sent to the Virgin Islands alone — no photographic team, no hair and makeup crew and no art directors — for the photo shoot. You can tell in his nostalgic, sort-of heartbreaking commentary that, for him, a love story unfolded as they shot the ads. “I was 20; she was 18,” he begins in another video. “There was nothing, you know, no worries. We had nothing; we had nothing to lose, you know what I mean? Those were good times.”
Mario Sorrenti – “I was so passionate about photography, and Kate and I were in love… I loved photographing her,” said Sorrenti. “She was the closest person to me. I would take pictures of her all of the time, and sometimes it drove her crazy, and other times she loved to be part of it. We had really good times. We were young, and I was never again so obsessed or so in love with photographing one person.”
Besides being one of the world’s leading models, Moss has also become famous for her tumultuous personal life. She has admitted that she began drinking and smoking marijuana at the age of twelve. She continued with her partying lifestyle as her career took off. Moss did a stint in a London clinic to fight her addiction to alcohol in 1998.
During her career, she has appeared on the cover of more than 300 magazines. Moss also starred in advertising campaigns for many of the top fashion houses, including Chanel and Christian Dior. She received a Fashion Icon award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America in June 2005.
Of course, lest you forget, there was that pesky in September 2005, incident in which Kate was featured on the cover of the Daily Mirror handling a white powder substance alongside the headline “Cocaine Kate.” But make what you will of that. So Kate became headline news around the world when photographs of what looked like her doing drugs were published in a British newspaper. She was reportedly caught snorting cocaine with her boyfriend Pete Doherty. The lead singer of the band Baby shambles, Doherty has been arrested several times on drug-related charges… The hardships of modeling at such a young age — the pressure to take your clothes off without any proper protection from the industry and very few trustworthy mentors (a problem the fashion world is unfortunately still dealing with today). Because of the scandal that followed, she lost many of her lucrative modeling contracts with such companies as the clothing retailer H&M. Moss bounced back quickly. The British police decided not to charge Moss with any crimes, and she later went to the Meadows Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, for treatment. By the next year, she had a slew of new modeling contracts with companies, such as Calvin Klein and Burberry, which had dropped her at the time of the drug scandal. After several splits and reconciliations, Moss and Doherty broke up for good in 2007.
Moss had been engaged to actor Johnny Depp in the 1990s. Johnny and Kate met in February 1994 at New York’s Café Tabac. He was 31 at the time and she was only 20. “I knew from the first moment we talked that we were going to be together. I’ve never had that before,” she said of their first meeting. However, he saw it differently. “It wasn’t all that romantic,” Depp had said of their first meeting. “She was sitting at a table with some friends and I knew one of them.” According to him, he invited them both over and the rest is history… During his relationship with Kate, Johnny was really interested in improving her mind. He introduced her to Iggy Pop, Hunter S. Thompson and the Beat Poets. She was terribly insecure that she wasn’t good enough for Johnny, which is why she allowed herself to be molded by him. Unfortunately, despite his best efforts, she still came off as uncultured. During an interview with a reporter, she struggled to pronounce Jack Kerouac’s name. “Jack Kerry…Jack Karri…er, you know,” she said. When the reporter asked if it was Jack Kerouac she was referring to, she responded, “Yeah, that’s it. Johnny recommended it. I love to settle down on planes with my book.” They reportedly did a lot of partying together; however, nearing the end of their relationship, he was allegedly starting to slow the partying down, but she wasn’t. Although things had been unraveling for months, they broke up for good in 1998 after a massive fight. She had been staying at his place in L.A. and she thought that it was understood that she was living there, but he thought that she was just crashing. He had already tried living with her in New York City for six months, but he couldn’t take it. At this point, he was tired of partying and how clingy she had become. The relationship ended for good after he reportedly called her “a crazy b-tch.”
The supermodel says that Johnny Depp, who she dated for four years beginning in 1994, was the only person who she could trust: “There’s nobody that’s ever really been able to take care of me. Johnny did for a bit. I believed what he said. Like if I said, ‘What do I do?,’ he’d tell me. And that’s what I missed when I left. I really lost that gauge of somebody I could trust. Nightmare. Years and years of crying” losing Johnny Depp definitely was a hard pill to swallow.
She began dating Jamie Hince of the British rock band the Kills, whom she married in 2011.
She also has a daughter, Lila Grace (b.2002), with ex-boyfriend Jefferson Hack, a magazine publisher.
In 2006, Moss reached a deal with clothing retailer Topshop to design her own collection of clothing. In addition to her clothing line, Moss began selling her own brand of perfume called Kate in 2007. She added a second scent, Velvet Hour, the following year, and other such as Love Blossoms followed. She also starred in advertising campaigns for many of the top fashion houses. Outside of the fashion world, she’s become an icon of pop culture, appearing in numerous rock videos by such artists such as The White Stripes, Elton John and Marianne Faithfull. Her vocals can be heard on some recordings by acts such as Oasis and The Lemonheads.
Years in fashion, she has survived nearly 25 thanks to her ability to reinvent herself. Known for her thin, “Heroin Chic” style and partying lifestyle, Moss continues to be a fashion and pop culture icon. Moss has achieved something that no other model has. She had worked in fashion over three decades, launching trends, defining styles, but never becoming dated.
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