Our guess is that Moss never wanted to be a role model. And, to be clear, we’re not putting her on par with, say, a Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Still, there’s something admirable about the way a scrawny teen from Croydon rose the ranks in a cutthroat industry, while always managing to live life on her own terms. Then of course, there’s the fashion. Basically, if you are a) female and b) have a pulse, you’ve tried to emulate Moss’s iconic style. Click through to revisit some of her greatest hits.
After breaking up with fashion photographer, Mario Sorrenti, a then 19-year-old Moss turned to fellow models Naomi Campbell (pictured) and Christy Turlington. “I was taken under their wing,” Moss later recalled. “They’re like, ‘You’re with us now.’ So much fun! Sleep in the Ritz between Christy and Naomi’s room.” Moss has also formed lasting friendships over the years with such major fashion players as Manolo Blahnik (pictured) and Marc Jacobs.
The arrival of a fresh-faced and freckled Moss was a revelation in a sea of overly made-up early ‘90s models, and her presence effectively ushered in a softer, more natural look that remains a beauty industry standard today.
Early on, Moss fell in with the Rolling Stones’ extended social circle, becoming fast friends with both Mick Jagger’s ex-girlfriend, Marianne Faithfull, and Keith Richards’ ex-love, Anita Pallenberg (both former hard-partying It Girls in their own right). Of Moss, Richards himself once quipped, “For a bad girl, she’s always been very well behaved.”
Despite her well-documented late nights, Moss has always been known as a hard-worker. (Frankly, she couldn’t have made it in the industry otherwise.) In a 2012 Vanity Fair article, she revealed how, in her late teens, stress from modelling brought her to the brink of a nervous breakdown. Still, she persevered. “It was work,” she explained simply. “I had to do it.”
We weren’t the only ones who mourned Moss’s breakup with Johnny Depp in 1998. Apparently the supermodel was pretty devastated herself. “There’s nobody that’s ever really been able to take care of me. Johnny did for a bit,” she revealed in the aforementioned Vanity Fair interview. “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. Oh, the tears.”
While the award for most model hairstyles undoubtedly goes to Linda Evangelista, Moss holds her own against the competition. Over the years, we’ve seen her go blonde, brunette, curly, cropped, and even pale pink. For a retrospective look at Moss’s famous mane, head over to a our sister site Byrdie.
Part of Moss’s styling genius lays in her ability to take intimidating, costume-y pieces like a waistcoat or a skinny neck-tie and deftly mix them with more approachable, basic items. It’s an effortless look that, for most of us, at least, would require a good deal of effort to pull off.
Who knew a pair of knee-high, rubber rain boots had such style potential? Moss, of course. And when photos of the model wearing them at annual UK summer music festival, Glastonbury, surfaced in the press, a trend was born.
It took a while, but Moss finally gave rocker/perennial troublemaker, Pete Doherty, his walking papers in 2007 after two years of a tumultuous, on-again-off-again relationship. "I love her with all my heart," Doherty bemoaned to the press. "I like the way she walks and talks. I love her bones. I love her brain.” Sorry, buddy, that (super hot) ship has sailed.
There is arguably no piece of clothing that offers as much style bang for your buck as a statement coat. Just ask Moss. From a white mink to a leopard print raglan, come the chilly London winter, she’s rarely seen without some sort of extravagant outerwear.
We can hardly blame those mums who opt to skip the designer duds once dirty diapers and spit-up enter the picture. Still, when Moss gave birth to daughter Lila in 2002 (father is magazine editor, Jefferson Hack), she never missed a sartorial beat. Here, she and Lila look like the peak of mother-daughter chic at a London wedding in 2008.
Moss made tousled tresses a must for any woman between the ages of 15 and 50. Armed with an arsenal of volumizing products, the supermodel’s longtime hairdresser, James Brown, achieves the artfully disheveled look by blow-drying her hair with a large-round brush and then backcombing it at the temples and the crown. See Brown discussing Moss’s coif here.
File this under Crazy but True: Moss found her now husband, The Kills guitarist Jamie Hince, online. “I was at [my friend] Lucie’s house in the South of France, and we were Googling men,” reveals the supermodel. “And I went, ‘Ooh, I like the look of him.’ A friend set us up. He turned up, and we spent, like, the next four days together.”
Just kidding. Unless you are Kate Moss, you cannot pull off a gold turban. Trust us.