There’s something different about the model and businesswoman Kate Moss, an elegant class that marks her aside from the crowd of fellow international beauty icons. Arriving at the dawn of the 1990s, her role as part of the heroin chic fashion trend would help her to become one of the most influential figures of British popular culture in a breeding ground of rapid change at the turn of the new millennium.
Recruited into the business at age 14 by Sarah Doukas, founder of Storm Management, at JFK Airport in New York, following a holiday in The Bahamas, Moss’ introduction into the industry was as fortuitous as the fictitious dreams of a Hollywood movie. Breaking through the industry throughout her early adolescence, Moss would go from being a humble London teenager to an international icon in rapid succession.
Thanks to a collaboration between her and the brand Calvin Klein in the mid-90s, Moss worked her way up to be considered one of the most influential figures of popular culture in the ‘90s, going on to be a contributing fashion editor for British Vogue. Her significance has also extended beyond the world of fashion, working with such musical legends as Johnny Cash, Elton John, The White Stripes and Paul McCartney across the years.
This was discussed between Moss and Lauren Laverne on a recent episode of the popular radio programme Desert Island Discs, in which the icon explained her love for such musicians as George Harrison, David Bowie and Neil Young.
One of the model’s most adored records is the 1971 cover of ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale’ by King Curtis, performed in person on the album Live at the Fillmore West. Explaining that the song was played when her parents walked down the aisle, Moss also holds the cover dear thanks to its appearance in one particular British cinema classic.
Calling Curtis’ cover “the most beautiful song,” Moss further explains, “It’s also the soundtrack to my favourite movie, Withnail and I…which I’ve watched probably more than 100 times”.
A much-loved comedy classic, the 1987 film Withnail and I tells the story of two unemployed drug-obsessed actors who take to the countryside for a getaway holiday that ends up being utterly disastrous. Starring the likes of Richard E. Grant, Paul McGann, Richard Griffiths and Daragh O’Malley, the film is considered to be a definitive genre movie to this very day, being named a favourite of such actors as Johnny Depp and Colin Farrell.
As a lover of comedy, Kate Moss seized her chance to work on the 2016 sequel Zoolander 2, where she appeared beside such icons as Naomi Campbell and Ana Beatriz Barros. Whilst it caught the attention of audiences upon its release, the film never reached the heights of its influential predecessor, failing to spark with critics across the globe. Put it like this, the film has nothing on Withnail and I.