Twenty-six years ago a skinny 14-year-old returning from a family vacation was stopped by a model scout in JFK airport. She never looked back.
Supermodel Kate Moss remains the darling of Britain, and of her birth town Croydon, even as she passes this milestone.
Her tale is one of beauty, glamour and a magnificent rise to riches, but also of controversy and a fall from grace with drug allegations in 2005.
Born in Croydon on January 16, 1974, 40 years ago today, Katherine Ann Moss crew up in Addiscombe where she also went to primary school and college.
Steve O’Connell, GLA Member for Croydon and Sutton, said: “Kate is a shining example of Croydon at it’s best. Croydonions are enormously proud of her. I don’t doubt that we have another generation of Kates in the pipeline, not just in modelling but in many other careers.”
As the fourth highest paid model in the world last year, according to Forbes, no one can deny that Moss has still got it. She has endured the fashion industry’s distorting preference for young and streamlined, as she fronted campaigns for Versace and Rimmel among others in 2013.
Though she rarely returns to her roots in Croydon, there have been occasions on which her background worked for her.
Allegedly Moss introduced herself to Sir Philip Green, CEO of Topshop, with whom she later released a number of highly successful capsule lines, with the one-liner “I’m a girl from Croydon, you’re a boy from Croydon, why don’t we do something?”
And so they did. The first Kate Moss Topshop collection was released in 2007 and generated over £3 million.
With the drug allegations that almost put an end to her career in 2006 now forgotten, Moss appears settled with husband Jamie Hince and ready to welcome a new era. Celebrating her birthday on Richard Branson’s Necker Island, the supermodel, who is “now more brand than model” according to fashion industry bible Drapers, remains a role model, flaws and faults included.