Kate The Great: Muse, Model, Mogul
The difference between a model and a muse? Impact, over presence. London-born beauty Kate Moss single-handedly broke the mould in the modelling industry, as the antithesis of cookie-cutter beauty and glamazonian body measurements. Despite being “too short” per 1990s high fashion standards, the Brit has managed to reach the upper echelons in her field, and is as relevant today as she was nearly three decades ago.
Like many of her counterparts which rose to top model fame during the Nineties, Kate didn’t seek the spotlight. Instead, the spotlight found her. The 5 feet 7 tall model’s discovery story includes New York’s JFK airport, a Storm Model Management agent that scouted her, and a cover shoot for UK style magazine The Face shortly thereafter. The model notorious for her waif-like figure experienced an international breakthrough as the star of a 1993 Calvin Klein Jeans ad, shot by famed photographer Herb Ritts. Her atypical facial features in combination with Moss’ petite frame – which gave birth to the “heroin chic” look in fashion– defined an era for the American lifestyle brand.
But it was more than just modelling denims that would eventually lead to the Londoner’s inclusion in the 2007 Time magazine 100 Most Influential People list. Backed up by influential industry friends such as photographer Mario Testino and designer Tom Ford, there was no stopping the style icon whose career would eventually hit a roadblock in the year 2005. Following allegations of drug abuse, widely covered by international tabloids, the tide seemed to have turned on the mother of one. Nonetheless, what could have been the kiss of death to the model’s career, turned into one of the greatest comebacks ever witnessed in fashion. Need proof? By 2007 Forbes listed her as world’s second highest-paid model due to lucrative deals with the likes of Rimmel, Belstaff, and Topshop.
In her latest professional chapter the former face of Versace acts as the founder and Managing Director of her namesake talent agency, Kate Moss Agency. Only time will tell if “Kate the great” is as capable of shaking up the industry from behind the scenes, as much as she is when taking centre stage.
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