Tanveer Akhter Khan

Fashion Analyst
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Kate Moss - All about her latest Interview

Kate Moss: I can tell a wrong 'un a mile away


Kate Moss has revealed how a photo-shoot as a teenager opened her eyes to the dangers of the fashion industry.


She told BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs programmer how she found herself with a man who wanted to photograph her for a bra catalogue.


Moss said she was aged just 15 at the time and he told her to take her bra off.


She said the experience had "sharpened her instinct" and that as a result she could "tell a wrong 'un a mile away".


"I was only 15 probably and he said: 'Take your top off'," she said.


"I took my top off, and I was really shy then about my body, and he said "take your bra off" and I could feel there was something wrong so I got my stuff and I ran away."


Spotted by a talent scout at the age of 14, Moss was signed by Storm modeling agency in 1988.


The 48-year-old told presenter Lauren Laverne how she would go to castings in London on her own, armed with just an A to Z street guide.


Moss went on to become one of fashion's most famous faces, and remains in demand with designers and magazine editors around the world.


In 1992, she shot her first major advertising campaign for Calvin Klein with actor Mark Wahlberg, known as Marky Mark at the time.


But Moss said the underwear shoot did not bring back good memories.


Topless for the photographs, the model said she felt objectified and "vulnerable and scared".


She said she suffered from severe anxiety before the shoot and was prescribed Valium to help her get through the experience.


Now an agent herself, her daughter Lila Moss is on her books, and the icon said she has been able to give her some advice about the fashion industry.


"I've said to her you don't have to do anything you don't want to do," she said.


"If you don't want to do this shoot, if you don't feel comfortable, if you don't want to model, don't do it."


She explained that she takes care of her models and ensures an agent is always with them at a shoot so there is someone there to say "I don't think that's appropriate".


Moss also opened up about standing by friend John Galliano, the designer who was found guilty of racist abuse in 2011, and her former partner actor Johnny Depp during his recent libel trial in the US.


She explained: "I believe in the truth and I believe in fairness and justice.


"I know that John Galliano is not a bad person - he had an alcohol problem and people turn. People aren't themselves when they drink and they say things that they would never say when they were sober".


She continued: "I know the truth about Johnny. I know he never kicked me down the stairs. I had to say that truth."


Moss for a while was perhaps most well-known for controversial fashion photos taken by Corinne Day for British Vogue in 1993.


Day's images of Moss posing suggestively were criticized and prompted a media debate about so-called "heroin chic".


Moss said: "I think I was a scapegoat for a lot of people's problems. I was never anorexic, I never have been.


"I had never taken heroin. I was thin because I didn't get fed at shoots or in shows and I'd always been thin."


Kate also talked about not believing she was photogenic when she was younger, sitting for a portrait by artist Lucian Freud and the quiet life she leads in the Cotswold’s.




Kate Moss ‘sick and angry’ at being made a scapegoat for taking cocaine


The British supermodel talks candidly on BBC radio’s Desert Island Discs about her drug use, defending Johnny Depp and being ‘objectified and scared’


Kate Moss, one of the world’s most famous models, has spoken of her anger at the condemnation she received after publication of photographs of her taking cocaine in 2005. She took the blame, she believes, for the widespread acceptability of drug-taking in her circle.


“I felt sick and was quite angry,” the British supermodel revealed on Sunday in a rare radio interview, “because everybody I knew took drugs. So for them to focus on me, and to try to take my daughter away, I thought was really hypocritical.”


Although Moss was not charged for the offence, and she kept her daughter, Lila, she lost lucrative contracts with several top brands and later said “sorry” formally in a public statement. “I had to apologies really, if people were looking up to me,” she told Lauren Laverne, host of BBC Radio 4’s long-running Desert Island Discs programmer.

For 30 years, Moss, 48, has represented the summit of British cool. But the woman whose motto “never complain, never explain” was borrowed from her former boyfriend, Johnny Depp, used the interview to speak out about the anxiety that crippled her teenage modeling years and of the abuse and mistreatment she suffered in the industry.


Moss also explained her decision to speak up for Depp in his recent American libel case against his ex-wife, Amber Heard, and talks about defending her old friend, the British fashion designer John Galliano, who was found guilty of racist abuse in 2011.


“I believe in the truth and I believe in fairness and justice,” she said. Her appearance at Depp’s trial was prompted by a wish to set the record straight. “I know the truth about Johnny,” Moss said. “I know he never kicked me down the stairs. I had to say that truth.”


The urge to stand by Galliano came from her belief that he is “not a bad person – he had an alcohol problem and people turn.”


“People aren’t themselves when they drink,” suggested Moss, “and they say things that they would never say when they were sober.”


At 14 years old, Moss was approached on an aero plane journey by the owner of the Storm modeling agency, but she didn’t imagine herself as a model. “I thought it was vain,” Moss said.

The start of her career in 1988 was traumatic and “a hard slog”, she recalled. She had to travel across cities alone for photographing castings. At 15, she had the “horrible experience” of being asked to take off her top for a bra catalogue shoot. “I was really shy then about my body, and I could feel there was something wrong, so I got my stuff and I ran away.”


She says the experience “sharpened her instincts” – “I can tell a wrong ’un a mile away.”


Her 16-year-old face was suddenly in international demand after a photographic session for The Face magazine on Camber Sands in Sussex with her photographer friend, the late Corinne Day.


Moss admits crying “a lot” about being naked. “She [Day] would say, ‘If you don’t take your top off, I am not going to book you for Elle. It is painful. I loved her, she was my best friend, but she was a tricky person. But the pictures are amazing, so she got what she wanted and I suffered for them, but in the end they did me a world of good really. They changed my career.”


The American designer Calvin Klein chose Moss for a 1992 underwear campaign as a result, but her memories of this job, posing with actor Mark Wahlberg in New York, are “not good”. She took Valium for her anxiety to get out of bed for work.


Topless again, Moss felt “objectified and vulnerable and scared”, she told Laverne, adding: “They played on my vulnerability. Calvin loved that.”


Her friend Day was responsible for the controversial images taken for Vogue magazine a year later, which were decried for promoting “heroin chic”. Pictured in her own flat, the ever-slim Moss was shown in underwear. “I was a scapegoat for a lot of people’s problems,” Moss said. “I was never anorexic. I never have been. I had never taken heroin. I was thin because I didn’t get fed at shoots or in shows and I’d always been thin.”


A quote often attributed to Moss, that “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”, was not her own coinage, she said. It came from a note stuck to the fridge door in a flat, designed to dissuade a dieting friend from snacking.


Born in 1974 to a travel agent father, Peter, and “glamorous” mother, Linda, who worked part-time in a bar, Moss said she suspects she was quite lonely. Her looks were not remarked on at home, and her mother was surprised when modeling work came her daughter’s way.


Her unruly “headstrong” teenage behavior worsened, Moss remembers, once her parents split up: “I started smoking spiff and I hung out with older boys,” she says, confessing she was full of sadness. “Yes, I was heartbroken ... it was all a bit dark.”


Moss set up her own modeling agency in 2016, signing up her own daughter early on. “I’ve said to her, ‘You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. If you don’t want to do this shoot, if you don’t feel comfortable, if you don’t want to model, don’t do it.’ I take care of my models. I make sure they’re with agents at shoots so when they’re being taken advantage of, someone is there to say, ‘I don’t think that’s appropriate’.”


Moss has moved her main home to her Cotswold’s country house and reveals she has become obsessed with gardening. Partying, she says, is “boring to me now”, adding, “I’m not into being out of control anymore.”


Kate Moss recalls ‘running away’ after being asked to remove her bra aged 15 before ‘painful’ modelling experiences


Kate Moss has admitted to feeling ‘objectified’ throughout her modeling career, starting with one experience when she was asked to stand topless in front of a casting agent at the age of 15.


The supermodel was scouted on a flight from New York to London when she was just 14 years old, and soared to prominence when she appeared on the cover of The Face magazine two years later. Despite her young age, Kate went on to join the likes of Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford and Elle MacPherson as one of the golden supermodels of the 1990s.


However, Kate, now 48, has revealed there were many uncomfortable moments during the early days of her career that left her feeling sexualized.


She has recalled one incident where she was asked to meet with a photographer who worked for an underwear catalogue.


‘He said, “Take your top off”, and I took my top off, and I was really shy then about my body,’ the runway icon told Lauren Laverne on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.


‘And he said, “Take your bra off”, and I could feel there was something wrong, so I got my stuff and I ran away.’